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Spring Preview of The Square: Premiering at Philadelphia Film Festival

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Lust. Greed. Murder. Blackmail. The Square  has it all. One of the most anticipated films of the upcoming Philadelphia Film Festival’s Spring Preview, this is without question a gripping noir that raises more than an a eyebrow at the rising talents of Joel and Nash Edgerton."The Square"

The grimy, gritty indie starts simply enough with an unhappy man and woman engaging in an affair. Carla (Claire Van Der Boom) clearly feels trapped in a life where she must constantly attend to her husband and Ray (David Roberts) is clearly infatuated with Carla, an attraction that goes beyond the physical. One day Carla mistakenly catches her husband looking through a large bag of stolen cash in the bathroom. Slipping out of the sight, she pretends as if she hadn’t seen a thing, but quickly calls Ray to hatch some sort of plan. She insists they take the money, make a run for it, and start a new life. Ray is overly hesitant at first, writing it all off as nonsense. When Carla threatens to cut him off, lust takes over and reroutes his thinking.

When both come to an agreement to set things in motion, Carla suggests that her house needs to be burnt down, for it’s the only way to completely destroy the idea of the money being stolen. Instead of committing arson himself, Ray hires his friend Billy (Joel Edgerton), a loose cannon that’s money hungry before he even receives payment. Everything seems to be in place, and as expected in these types of thrillers, everything slowly falls apart and spins out of control.

Without giving too much away, one of the most appealing things about The Square is the degree of respect bestowed upon the characters considering it’s a film noir. Recalling the Wachowski brother’s Bound, the film certainly has its twisty moments, but the tricks are never executed in a way that sacrifices character depth or relationships. The film wants the viewer to be invested in their fates, and this makes the tension that much more unbearable. The performances are exceptional to boot. Both Roberts and Van Der Boom provide a believable anchor to the story, and really capture the essence of their lonely, tortured souls. Roberts, who bears more screen time, garners noticeable empathy as he is put through the ringer and then some. Screenwriter Joel Edgerton also gives a frightening, jittery performance as the unstable Billy. Elsewhere, the supporting cast all deliver fine turns.

Hindered only by a cold, rushed climax, The Square is just the kind of quality film one would expect out of a film festival. It’s much smaller in scope, but rich in atmosphere, story, tension, and character. It’s also ridiculously intense, and one now expects great things to come in the future from the Edgerton Brothers.

The Square Premieres Friday, April 9th 9:45 PM at The Prince Music Theater

For more information on tickets and pricing visit:

www.filmadelphia.org

Contact Jim Teti at jteti@philly2philly.com

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