This one is just awesome. Really liked how it all played together and worked as a cohesive story in the end. Well done.
Hello everyone Kevin of Film Fervor here with another Independent film review for you. Today we are reviewing the 2016 Crime Drama Sole Proprietor, written, directed and Starring Dan Eberle. Also starring Alexandra Hellquist and Alexandra Chelaru.
Sole Proprietor focuses on Crowley (Dan Eberle) an ex CIA agent who is trying to buy a new life in the United States away from all of the violence and death of his past. His plans are put on hold as his Handler informs him he is no longer able to buy his freedom but instead has to earn it by doing one last job for the CIA’s mysterious clients. Angered over this Crowley is advised to blow off steam on a website of mail ordered Prostitutes where he meets Sophie (Alexandra Hellquist) a French lady of the night who helps him indulge his darker appetites. While this his happening two Police detectives investigate a brutal stabbing of a Cartel bag man who had been carrying a large sum of drug money into the United States, though their interest in the killing isn’t as clear cut as it seems at first. Crowley now under the spell of the beautiful Sophie now much juggle his exit strategy with wanting to help his fellow lost soul with her vicious Pimp before everything comes crashing down.
Sole Proprietor is an Independent film, this is a criteria you have to meet to get reviewed here on Film Fervor but I can tell you with complete honesty this film does not feel like a Independent film at all. The Production quality is absolutely through the roof and easily matches any film of the same genre that has come out of Hollywood in the past decade and truly stands out in multiple ways. The first is the amazing cinematography. The Camera work is crystal clear and focuses properly on the action of the film and only has a very minor issue when it comes to the camera sometimes moving a bit to fast as if it was overclocked as is the case in many British films however this does little to pull you out of the deeply compelling story that is unfolding before your eyes.
The sound quality of Sole Proprietor is wonderfully mixed and edited and brings in a sense of tension throughout the film that really helps hammer home the message each scene in the film is trying to convey and this is compounded by the amazing performances of all of the Actors in the film. Normally when a Director puts himself into one of the title positions of a film you can nearly cringe at the hammy acting that will come with it, this is not the case with Dan Eberle’s character Crowley. When I first seen him he reminded me so much of a young Bruce Willis in the first Die Hard film with his look that I figured he was going to be a stereotype and badly played but nothing could be further from the truth. Crowley comes off as a highly nuanced character who is completely believable and well thought out. His relationship with Sophie is very organic and doesn’t feel shoe horned in like some other films you may have watched within the spy genre.
Alexandra Hellquist’s performance easily matches Dan Eberle’s outstanding performance of Crowley with his French Prostitute Sophie. She brings a very exotic sensuality to the mysterious courtesan and her chemistry with the Director’s character is easily seen in each and every scene they are in together. She delivers such a powerful performance that you can’t help but root for her when she tries to get out of the life and run away and this is in no small part do to the wonderful writing of the script where no one is just a stereotype or over used trope.
One of the most amazing things in this film are the prop guns used. These actual working blank replicas are so realistic that it seems to come right out of a big budget Hollywood film, the details on them are staggering. You don’t know how many Hollywood films get the details on their replica wrong or instruct their actors to hold them in the improper way, Sole Proprietor handles both of these tricky and often immersion jarring issues expertly. Just take the time to pause the film when you get a brief closeup of the weapons (It happens in two scenes) it is very worth it if you like prop works or firearms.
If I had one complaint about Sole Proprietor it would be it’s Pulp Fiction like continuity. It bounces from several different time lines in the film for each of the point of view characters and it can be very easy to become lost in where and what you are seeing. I personally do not like this kind of film but I can’t really take points off of Sole Proprietor for this as the conclusion brings everything into a tight neat and perfectly clear ending. That said you may have a bit of difficulty following along the plot if you are not use to this sort of film making.
As a full length film running at one hour and thirty-eight minutes Sole Proprietor is a beautifully made Action drama that gloriously showcases how a Independent film should be made and truly brought the Spy movie genre back after so many James Bond clone films saturated the market. If you love that sort of film and are finely wanting to see an American spy who is as nuanced as James Bond and as brutal as Jason Bourne I can not recommend Sole Proprietor strongly enough. I give the film a outstanding five out of five stars. It is a true gem for the Independent community.