Children Without Parents
A solid 4/5 for a very interesting story about how a family deals with loss.
Hello everyone Kevin here with Film Fervor bringing you another Independent film review. Today we are continuing the Fandependent film festival reviews with Casey Puccini’s 2013 semi autobiographical dark comedy Children without Parents. Starring Casey Puccini, Bryn Packard, Sasha Gioppo and Kevin Strangler.
Children without Parents is a semi fictional autobiography of Casey Puccini’s family dealing with the death of their father who unbeknownst to them committed suicide. The family gather together to deal with the aftermath of his death but soon find themselves pushing each others buttons while the come to terms with his death and their own insecurities and they slowly take on traits of their lost father.
Children without Parents while billed as a dark comedy is actually surprisingly touching in places and filled me more with a warm sense of nostalgia instead of humor at the various brake downs of the family members and their remembering of their father. The characters which are all based on Casey Puccini’s brothers and sister come to life in a very believable manner that at times even reminded me of interactions with my own brother. They truly personify the picture of dysfunctional family that you could almost think you were watching a family film instead of a motion picture which I think is a testament to the marvelous talents of the actors and the direction of Casey Puccini.
As you know if you have read some of my previous reviews I don’t really enjoy comedy movies very much as humor is very subjective, however that being said I actually found Children without Parents to be subtly humorous in several places with it’s dark and morbid look on life and death. Few films from Hollywood can make me laugh out loud and for Independent films it is practically unheard of but the cast of Children without Parents were allowed to Ad lib their lines in several places and the result was natural and organic instead of the forced laugh moments common in most comedies. I won’t spoil it for you but if you do watch the film the Ashes scene will honestly make you laugh out loud.
Children without Parents cinematography is the one glaring flaw in this otherwise very enjoyable film. The picture quality is grainy and in many places you can see the camera sway in a very shaky cam sort of way. This is of course unsurprising as it was shot on a tight budget and was the Director’s debut film and he hadn’t the experience nor the equipment to make it as crystal clear as it could have been but it doesn’t take away as much from the film as it might have in different genera of film.
The sound quality of Children without Parents is also a mixed bag. While the characters are always perfectly understandable and you never get a voice to drop out of ear shot the microphone picks up the ambient noises around it and there is a constant hissing noise during the dialog that can be very annoying again this is simply the lack of proper equipment more than a fault on the new director’s part.
While the production quality of the film suffers slightly from the issues I mentioned I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Children without Parents. It is perhaps the first film I have ever seen dubbed as a Pre-enactment and gives you a very dark but surprisingly tender look into the dichotomy of a broken family and will have you smiling along or shaking your head with the antics the family manages to get up to in the wake of the tragedy of their father’s death. Casey Puccini shows some real talent as a director in this film (And some pretty decent acting chops I might add) and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future. Despite it’s technical faults I give Children without Parents a four out of five stars on it’s powerful script and wonderful actors.