Marcus

Despite the fact that he has led a life where a lot has gone wrong and he is presently at a low moment, Marcus (Owen Miller – appeared in episodes of Burn Notice and Graceland) finds out something that changes the course of his life. He works as an overnight cleaner in a large building. A lonely job in that the only other human who he has contact with is the movie-watching security guard, Gus (Paul Wight – Jingle All the Way, Fighting With My Family). The job does not earn him much money and as such, he is on the verge of being evicted from his apartment. The voices in his head are quite active and as such he drinks quite a bit in an attempt to quiet them. Things are dire.

What he finds out is that his estranged daughter, Gaby (Katana Malone – from television series To Each His Own), is pregnant. He decides to get in his car and drive to try and reconnect with her before the birth. This is not going to be easy as there is a lot of rough water under the bridge between father and daughter. Earning her forgiveness is not going to be easy.

Happiness is an elusive state of being for many people. So is having a purpose in life. Many get lost on these roads. Attaining these things is made that much more difficult when there is a mental health issue involved. Marcus shows that sometimes the biggest obstacle to being happy is the person themselves. We have to learn how to lean on others in our times of need and get out of our own way.

Lead actor Owen Miller turns in a strong performance here. His Marcus is stoic, spicy and tormented but still, you root for him to overcome his issues. The film is built around him and he is certainly up to the task of carrying the film. But the other cast members are a different story. Loads of weak/wooden performances to be found.

Another solid aspect of the film is its realism. A gritty film in which the problems here do not just disappear or are solved in five minutes. Work and struggle occur. This makes it more relatable. Even if we have not gone through exactly what Marcus is, we still all have made bad choices or would benefit from forgiveness from someone we have wronged. Family dynamics can be tricky even in the best of circumstances.

The film, directed and written by J.R. Poli (first feature film), is based on a short of the same name which was released in 2018. It was successful and won several awards on the festival circuit.

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