Fingers In The Wind: Review
Fingers In The Wind: Review. By Joe Muldoon.
Fingers in the Wind is the feature-length debut of director Chad Murdock. The opening of the film introduces us to our two main characters, an unnamed young man (Azendé Kendale Johnson), and Faye (Taylor Brianna). Little is given away with regards to the young man, for we simply observe him buying flowers, not knowing who for, or for what occasion. When we meet Faye, we witness the end of her friendship with Naya (Maya Holiday), originally her best friend.
Naya wishes to sever ties because she distrusts Faye, feeling that she knows as much about her as she did the day they met. Devastated, Faye leaves the apartment, and heads for the park. We switch back to the young man as he rearranges the flowers in his apartment, and he attempts to make a call to somebody called Naya – could it be the same Naya whose company we were just in? After a shower, the man also heads to the park, leading to the chance encounter between him and Faye.
After a noticeably slowly-paced start, their meeting lights the fuse that gets the film moving, and ignites its mysterious undertones. As the man stands gazing out to the lake, Faye calls out to him, believing him to be an old friend of hers, Kenny – only, he denies knowing her and claims to be somebody else entirely. The cleverness of Murdock’s begins to shine here, because the coincidence of this situation is almost suspicious; one of them is mistaken, but who? Their encounter and subsequent time spent together is somewhat reminiscent of the beginning of the romance between Jesse and Céline in Richard Linklater’s 1995 masterpiece Before Sunrise.
We experience the unfolding of this meeting through a series of still, lingering shots. Though the cinematography is gorgeous (with the opening scene at the flower shop being a notable example), the film’s pacing in parts suffers from the overuse of exposition shots, which sometimes add little to nothing to the overall piece. That said, when the shots focus solely on the cast members, they work marvellously, catching the warmth (and coldness) between characters. Most of the film centres itself around an extended conversation, showcasing both the strength of the writer, as well as the dramatic capabilities of those onscreen.
Fingers in the Wind thrives in its ambiguity, refusing to give any of its secrets away without any work, inserting cryptic poetic intertitles throughout. Only towards the end are we given a proper glimpse behind the curtain, and the subtle mystery is slowly and delicately revealed. The minimalistic sound design is perfect for the film, and its lack of soundtrack works well to intensify the awkwardness of several scenes. Though its flow and pacing could greatly benefit from the trimming down of its extended exposition shots, this piece works very well as a whole, and is an excellent showcase of its cast and crew’s talents. With impressive performances from its cast (in particular, that of Taylor Brianna), Fingers in the Wind serves as a smart drama-mystery, and a hopeful look into the futures of those involved in its making.
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