Sunday, March 29, 2020

Inside the Rain - Movie Review

The Movie: Inside the Rain

The Director: Aaron Fisher

The Cast: Rosie Perez, Eric Roberts, Aaron Fisher, Ellen Toland, Catherine Curtin, Paul Schulze

The Story: Facing expulsion from college over a misunderstanding, a bipolar student indulges his misery at a strip club where he befriends a gorgeous, intelligent, outrageous woman and they hatch a madcap scheme to prove his innocence.

The Review:
Sometimes there are movies that sort of sneak up on you with how good they are. They take a subject and absolutely nail the essence of it while also being an extremely effective form of entertainment. Aaron Fisher, who wrote, directed, and stars in this tale of living with multiple mental conditions including bipolar disorder, couldn't have hit the nail more on the head. A triumph that makes sense when you realize the story is pulled from and inspired by his own life experiences living with mental disorders. Taking a light hearted and comedic approach to this subject matter was a very smart move because it lessens the impact when things go dark and allows the viewer to stay engaged with a story that is authentic and true to real life.

Yes, this is a genuinely funny movie and a lot of the humor comes from Fisher's character and how uniquely charming or totally off putting he can be in any given moment, sometimes at the same time. If you or any close family members have dealt with or currently deal with any of the disorders being shown in the film, you will find the story humorous, relatable, comforting, and very familiar. Fisher nails every aspect of the film making process and how it relates to mental disorders without ever making fun of it or belittling Ben or his condition. There is an honest level of respect and understanding, not just for Ben but for everyone who interacts with him and who they are as people.

While Aaron leads the way in front of the camera, he also has put together a cast that is equally up to the task with Rosie Perez and Ellen Toland providing some pretty impressive work in supporting roles. Perez plays Ben's no nonsense counselor and, with her classic fiery attitude on full display, it's clear she was the perfect choice for this role. Ellen Toland plays an extremely multi-talented woman who excels in areas of the adult entertainment industry and just happens to catch Ben's attention during an incident outside the strip club that she works at and the he visits from time to time. Her portrayal of the character is very honest and endearing and you really come to understand who she is thanks to the performance.

The real charm of the movie comes from how Fisher understands exactly who each character is and he shows you the humanity, the authenticity, and the vulnerability they each possess. There are moments where Ben mentally loses complete control and those moments are treated with the same respect and dignity as any other and that's really what sets this story apart. Through it all, Ben is a person. A person with hopes and dreams and goals, it's just that he has to take a bit of a different path than most people to get there.

The Verdict:
Inside the Rain is a beautiful and inspiring love story just not the type of story you might expect. A love story about humanity and the beauty it possesses even with all of its perceived flaws. Aaron Fisher has filled his first full length feature with so much of himself and so much of his life, it would be impossible for anyone who watches it to not be moved or emotionally affected in some way.

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