Wednesday, April 14, 2021

All Sorts - 2021 SIFF Movie Review

The Movie: All Sorts

The Director: Rick Castaneda

The Cast: Eli Vargas, Greena Park, Luis Deveze

The Story: Diego finds himself in the strange, strange land of Data-Mart. There he meets June, an incredibly fast filer, and as the two make their way into the secret world of underground filing, things will never be the same.

The Interview

The Review:
When I first came across this movie, my first thought was that it seemed like a really weird and hopefully fun little indie film. This movie takes place in what I would describe as the strangest office cubicle environment ever created and yet everything about it feels oddly familiar, especially for anyone who has worked in a setting like this. If you've ever sat at your desk, bored out of your mind, and started daydreaming about strangely magical things happening around you, then you will understand the thought process that led director Rick Castaneda to creating this project.

The story centers around three primary characters. Diego is a sort of everyman protagonist who is instantly likable and Eli Vargas brings a very endearing quality to a role that could have otherwise fallen flat. Greena Park plays June Yoon, a Korean woman who has a very particular set of skills that lead her into an underground folder filing championship tournament (yes you read that correctly) and also into a budding friendship, or is it a relationship, with Diego. Rounding out this triumphant trifecta is Luis Deveze, who plays Vasquez, the office boss who has an insanely confident and optimistic look on life that leads to a steady stream of laughs that take over every single scene he is in.

There is a whole lot going on in this movie and the three characters balance each other out perfectly with distinct personalities that play off of each other really well. Just when you think things are heading into a bit if drama or heavy emotions, here comes Vasquez to lighten the mood with his crazy antics. Sometimes the stars line up just right and actors find roles that line up perfectly for them and I feel like this is the case with all three of these fine folks. I would honestly love to see more from the characters, they are all so entertaining and in a way that makes you want to get to know them more and more. Leave them wanting more as they say and in this case, I'm all in.

This movie is also kind of special for being a locally made product right here in the Pacific Northwest and more specifically, it was filmed in Yakima and Toppenish which, if you didn't know, are located in Eastern Washington. I've been to Yakima a few times so it was nice to see some familiar surroundings and, for those really in the know, there's a scene in the parking lot of Miner's Drive-In! If you don't know what that is, it's a classic burger joint that is worth a trip to Yakima on its own. Enough about burgers though, I'm making myself hungry.

I imagine being able to film in these local locales was a real treat for Castaneda as he grew up in the nearby town of Granger and, from what I understand, was able to bring in a lot of locals from the surrounding area as well as talent from Seattle to work on the project. Throw in the cast members who are literally from around the world and all the ingredients are there for some genuinely entertaining storytelling from a diverse lineup of talented storytellers. In my world, diversity and representation are very important and this movie ticks all the boxes both in front of and behind the camera.

The Verdict:
All Sorts is the office cubicle fantasy film you never knew you needed in your life. The story is a mix of offbeat antics, creative fantasy, and heartwarming rom-comedy all brought to life by a perfectly put together cast of characters and a talented director who is a true hometown hero.

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