Farewell – Secrets, Lies, Shade and Murder
Getting a group of friends together is always a great way to set the stage for drama. So, the premise behind writer/director Chris Chalk's debut feature length film Farewell opens the door for its story to turn in almost any direction. It's a solid choice, for the sneaky thriller it ultimately becomes.
Farewell: Social Circles and Secrets
Grace and Chance Charles need to celebrate. Grace accepted a new job that'll take the couple overseas. Her devoted husband's all-in for whatever she needs. Their both writers, but her career's on the rise leaving her overworked and on deadline for her next book. The couple's friends decide to throw them an Anniversary Send-Off. As the group comes together, it's immediately clear, these friendships aren't all sweetness and light.
Farewell explores the relationship dynamics between these friends with just the right amount of the unconventional to be refreshingly engaging.
Friends and Being Dragged for Filth
Typically when a film stars a mostly Black cast and centers it's story around a get-together among close friends, the story direction leans towards the comedic. Nut Chalk's directorial debut veers into the awkwardness in ties that not only bind but strangle.
Over the course of a night that starts upbeat swiftly gives way to biting sarcasm, low-key shade, and snide remarks. The dragging (and there's just so very much of it) is so on brand for Black folks that authenticity far out-weights the fact the dialogue and scene pacing could've done with another pass. As the night takes a turn into the sinister - and of course you can see it coming - these friends don't band together to make it through. Poor decision-making and all those secrets bubbling just beneath the surface of all the shade and messiness make for more than a few situations that test your ability to believe. That is until you remember no one is who they tell you they'll be in a crisis.
Watching the role reversals, acting out, and revelations all given with such solid performances - especially the notable the chemistry between the leads - Farewell is a technically impressive feature and a horror-tinged (the sound production does it's job a touch too well at times) good time.
If we're backing husband/wife producing teams in this pandemic, the Chalk's just edged the Franco's out of the top spot for the MTR crew. Of course, that may just have something to do with our desire to never be seen as a bad friend by either....
Listen in as Kriss and Ro dig into why this narrative feature left them with high hopes for whatever Chris Chalk may choose to write next.
Director(s): Chris Chalk
Writer(s): Chris Chalk
Producer(s): Chris Chalk, K.D. Chalk
Editor(s): Lex Kimbrough
Cinematographer(s): Lex Kimbrough
Production Designer(s): Prisca Choe
Music Composer(s): Daniel Clive McCallum
K. D. Chalk (Grace), Chris Chalk (Chance), Cesa Pledger (Mila), Eden Marryshow (Remy), Chantal Nchako (Kit), Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut ( Stacey), and Natalie Woolams-Torres (Laila)
Farewell is the The Bentonville Film Festival Winner for Best First Feature, Narrative.
Follow us on Twitter:
Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!