Throughout the film, I kept finding similarities with both Requiem for a Dream and Euphoria. When Travis and Zoe hit up heroin for the first time, the colors, atmosphere and cinematography coupled with Travis's inner monologue strongly reminded me of Euphoria, particularly during the first season when Rue began doing drugs with Jules. Additionally, whenever Travis or Zoe shoot themselves up with heroin, the camera cuts to the pupil of their eye dilating. This scene alone parallels Requiem for a Dream during the scene where the characters shoot up heroin and briefly brought back horrifying memories. I'm just glad we didn't have to hear the horrifying score from Darren Aronofsky's classic.
Perhaps River Road's greatest strength is its cinematography. What really stuck out to me were the shots of Travis at the docks during the sunset. Something about the contrast of the background and shadowed trees added an extremely artistic touch to the film's overall aesthetic. Speaking of aesthetics, the synth music was also a good choice to establish distortion. While our lead is a guitar player we oddly don't get much guitar playing, outside of the first and early second act.
Character-wise, I found both leads to be a bit unlikable. While both Cody Kearsley and Lexi Redman were amazing at portraying a dysfunctional drug-addicted couple, I didn't particularly feel any sort of attachment to either character. This isn't a bad thing, as I think it was the point of the film. However, what did throw me off was how poorly-shot the chase scene in the third act is, in addition to the lackluster dialogue for one of the major antagonists. The chase scene suffered from too much shaky-cam and fast cuts to the point where I had no idea what was going on. Meanwhile, some of the major antagonist's lines felt like a fourteen year old trying to sound tough over Fortnite or Call of Duty.
Does this make the film bad? No. Despite the film's flaws, it's still a solid watch if you want to explore the dangers and consequences of drug addiction. Where River Road easily stands out is in its cinematography, music and overall story. Instead of those outdated drug PSAs schools force you to watch, they should instead show kids more realistic depictions of addiction and I think River Road should be one of those films.
Action / Drama / Thriller
Action / Drama / Thriller
A rock musician and a free-spirited woman start an intense relationship which soon spirals into a world of drug addiction and crime.
July 27, 2022 at 03:22 AM
Tech specs720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1 hr 28 min
P/S 4 / 18