“The Whole Lot” - Messy and Real. You. Will. Get. It. - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Monday, August 1, 2022

“The Whole Lot” - Messy and Real. You. Will. Get. It.

“The Whole Lot”  is a very close quarters family drama. Welcome to the world created by director Connor Rickman and writer Matthew Ivan Bennett. In this fast-moving drama, we are introduced to three of the key story’s characters and all of them are unlikeable but in unexpected ways. Kuddos to the construction of the film because the twists are strange and surprising (a good thing) and the resolutions are gripping. It’s important to step into this experience without the expectations of feeling good because the story isn’t designed that way. But Rickman and Bennett designed it that way because sometimes, we all want or maybe need, to feel bad and in the hands of these filmmakers, it’s a solid journey because they do know how to capture and keep your attention. 

“The Whole Lot” is only 75, fast-moving minutes. The story begins with thirtysomething Della (Sarah McLoney) who has to deal with executing the estate of her late father — a gambler with dubious character traits who owned a remote farm stocked with classic cars that he enjoyed restoring with Della’s brother, Jamie (Aaron Kramer). 

This is a family that has a legacy of addiction with Jamie carrying a filled flask everywhere he goes which makes it impossible for him to keep a job and their mother suffers from substance abuse issues. Now we add the family’s heartbreak at the recent death of the father who has cheated on their mother with a coworker, and things just spiral out from there. Time passes and no one has healed and Della’s duties mean reopening these nasty, unhealed, and festering wounds. 

To make matters worse, her Father’s only instruction is to distribute enough to Jamie to make him happy but not spoil him. To pay for debuts she sells the house but the classic car collection remains all in perfect and valuable condition. The question looms can Jamie be trusted to do anything but sell them and use that cash for drugs?  What about using the money for herself?  At first, Della offers him one car, which he considers an insult, and things begin to crumble from there. 

Now that the situation has gone from bad to worse enter Della’s husband, Eli (Blake Webb) who has a plan to sell the cars and to start their own business with a fully mapped out plan with his potential investors anxious, or so he claims. Remember the title of this movie — “The Whole Lot”! Jamie hates Eli, and Eli hates Jamie.  This is a horrible spot for Della who actually hates her own husband as much as she hates her brother and so it goes —with the whole lot being filled with rotten apples making the old saying, an Apple doesn’t fall from the tree.

Hate. Hate. Hate. This is what makes the world of director Rickman and screenwriter Bennett go round-and-round and it’s that feeling that’s drenched the entire movie. None. Of. The. Three. Are. Likable. These are characters that are selfish, angry, and entitled. There are backstory elements introduced to try and soften the characters’. hard edges like Della suffering from grief after finding her infant son dead, a victim of SIDS. And there is a plot twist about the two men in her life which might help make Della feel a bit more sympathetic but it’s not much because the truth of the matter is that she’s just as selfish as her brother and husband.

The whole lot of them argue all the time over who gets which car. They mistrust one another’s motives. They live in fear that these valuable cars will eventually be sold to a buyer somewhere else. 

These characters cant be described as very emotional because it’s really just their petty power play moves and what’s good is that the third act turns everything on its head. No spoilers just keep a sharp eye on “The Whole Lot”. 


No comments:

Post a Comment