I’m on a boat! Not really but Sean Astin is in his new film The Surface. I always tend to like films that isolate characters in one place for most of the movie. Astin’s character decides he is going to take his Fathers boat out on Lake Michigan on a particular day after visiting his mother in a nursing home. From the beginning we see this character is clearly struggling with something. He’s not really jovial when speaking to his mother or anyone else that works at the nursing home. There is obviously some depression stemming from something that has happened recently. Astin proceeds to the lake and comes across a crashed airplane in the Lake. After looking around a bit he notices a survivor and helps the man on board. Chris Mulkey is the actor that portrays our other lead character. Both of these gentlemen are a bit weary of one another and unsure how to interact. This is pretty much the setting for the rest of the film. Astin’s boat has lost its propeller after hitting some of the plane debris.
The film is heavily weighed on dialogue between Mulkey and Astin. The two begin to get back stories on one another as time goes on. We have some flash back scenes from each character explaining their situation. Astin has suffered the loss of his father and simply cannot cope with how his father passed. Mulkey was delivering a mysterious package for some questionable characters and fears for his life if package is not delivered. The two play well off of each other’s character keeping a slow but informative pace. There is not a whole lot going on in the film except talking. I was hoping for some X factors to come into play but it never happens.
The main issue I had with The Surface was I was expecting a “thriller and didn’t really get much thrill. We don’t get a thriller at all here it is pretty much a straight forward drama. The film doesn’t really have any tension at all in it. This is not to say it’s a bad film because it is not. It’s actually a good film but if you are expecting something like a “thriller” you won’t care for it. It took me a little while of thinking on it to decide what I thought of it. As a drama it develops a likable character in Sean Astin. It builds a relationship between two potential foes into a something more like friendship. Subtle score mixed together with the sounds of the ocean are perfectly blended together. The symbolic moment at the end of the film was definitely one of the highlights. It was a unique way to end a story between the characters. The Surface is something I would recommend if you were in the mood for a light drama.
(Editors Note: If you would like to get your hands at a copy of this film, enter our IF Giveaways – The Surface. Deadline is September 7th, so enter today!)