The Dust Storm
The Dust Storm is a fascinating film with a lot of interesting and technical things going for it. The story is solid, music is on point and the whole thing works well.
Hello everyone Kevin of Film Fervor here bringing you another Independent film review. Today we will be discussing the 2016 musical romantic drama The Dust Storm written and directed by Ryan Lacen and co directed by Anthony Baldio. Starring Colin O’Donoghue, Kristen Gutoskie and Chris Carmack.
The Dust Storm is a dark romantic drama about former musician turned bored and dejected businessman Brennan (Colin O’Donoghue) who after a failed meeting in Nashville meets his old ex-girlfriend who had broken his heart long ago. The two rekindle their relationship over the one weekend they have together in the musical scene of the country city. The love struck Brennan has to deal with the abusive and beguiling nature of Nora (Kristen Gutoskie) as he tried to win his way back into his heart and rekindle the passion for music he once had.
Normally when I get a romantic movie I generally know what to expect, sappy dialog and will they won’t they moments galore until it finally culminates into the tearful reunion at the end, The Dust Storm however took me by surprise. Firstly it is fairly dark in tone full of obsessive behavior, abuse and quite a bit of heavy drinking. In this respect it is very realistic and sometimes downright uncomfortable to watch as Brennan tries to get back with Nora despite her being borderline psychotic (Not in a serial killer way but a basket case train wreck sort of way). It is a unique and very interesting take on the genre and is beautifully acted out by award winning actors Colin O’Donoghue (of Once upon a time fame) and Kristen Gutoskie (Seline of The Vampire Diaries).
The cinematography of The Dust Storm is expertly handled by the production company and the picture quality is outstanding which is easy to understand considering they use the Red Epic camera. The scenes are shot well and edited together coherently which is a big help considering the time line is slightly jumbled during the film and you can have a hard time keeping track of what is going on. If I had one complaint about the camera work it would be the many shaky cam shots that are distracting and to me at least jarring from the story being told. I have never liked that technique but at least it was purposely done by the director so is handled well enough to not be to immersion breaking.
The audio of The Dust Storm is a little hit or miss. Firstly the music of the film is very impressive which is unsurprising considering both Colin O’Donoghue and Kristen Gutoskie are professional musicians and perform their own music during the film. It is rare that actors also manage to provide the background music to their film and do it as well as they did. All of the local musicians in Nashville who were featured in the film also supplied their talents adding to the ambiance of the nightlife they two characters were experiencing and added a touch of realism that I found refreshing. The recording of the voices however left a little something to be desired. At several places during the film the characters were speaking so low that you could barely hear what they were saying and during one rendition of a song the sound dipped into the inaudible level again which was a little disappointing considering it was an important part of the story.
The Dust Storm is not your typical romance story nor is it just a musical. It is a interesting combination of both genres that never quite falls perfectly into either category and instead of failing because of it manages to shine brighter and more uniquely than either. It is very well written and the acting is both believable and expertly delivered. If you like unconventional films that still have elements of romance, musical undertones and deeply soul searching intrigue then at 95 minutes The Dust Storm will certainly not disappoint you. While it has some minor technical flaws the over all quality of this thought provoking tale easily make up any mishaps in the post production.
I give The Dust Storm a very solid four out of five stars.