Interference

There’s an eerie ambiance to Interference. It pervades from the opening seconds to the final moments. A melancholic crime drama, Linda Di Franco’s Interference is one of those mysteries that tries hard to be a nail-biting affair, but can’t get past its own convoluted antics.

Playing on its namesake, this feature film jumbles up a few key slants. It trips over multiple plot lines, the divergent strands of action trying to run coherently and all at once. This contributes to a considerable roadblock in the way of easily following the narrative. Not that it’s difficult to understand, but the unnecessary complexities make you rather uninterested in sticking around to find out more.

Interference centers on the tale of Wolf (Bruce Thomas), a detective on the verge of retirement, who is pursuing one final case before he leaves behind a working life that has disenchanted the older man. He’s close friends with Marcus (Tom Wisdom), a prominent district attorney who discovers an unidentifiably burned woman in front of his boat one night. Marcus is diligently working his own case, where he’s trying to take down a violent child serial killer. A slew of other characters finds their way into the frame, most notably Laura (Leona Paraminski), the former girlfriend of Marcus and Sofia (Lovie Underwood), a young, impressionable new member of the police force who partners up with Wolf in his last days.

“…a prominent district attorney who discovers an unidentifiably burned woman in front of his boat…”

Bruce Thomas is unparalleled here. He commits to Wolf’s weary, tortured, do-gooder-reluctantly-turned-rogue in a prominent way, boasting a reliable tenacity for taking on such roles. His is the central performance that justifies high praise, as the rest of the cast dances precariously between mediocre and overdramatic. There are exceptions, of course. Victoria Gabrielle Platt’s moving take on devastated mother Christine, Akuyoe Graham’s straight-talking Capt. Williams and Cayleb Long as the twisted, conscious-depraved Sheffer all own the scenes they are in.

Written and directed by Linda di Franco, the screenplay has merit, but the ongoing references to universal themes like sinning and evil don’t mesh well in alignment with keeping the tone real and emotional. Further failed by a strangely inverted timeline, the structure of the drama ends up spotlighting a script that works to manifest the relationship between bad and good, but isn’t sure how to pull it off.

Just the same, there’s still a visibly strong core in Interference, thanks to a surprise twist in the ending. The remarkable character development of the leads also absolves the confusion that comes from the overload of people and side stories that keep getting dropped in as the mystery unravels. Franco’s extensive experience in editing and sound in the industry is another aspect that shows up throughout. The movie’s staging, visuals, and thrilling effects warrant much admiration, which should garner an automatic level of respect from those who see it.

When it comes down it, Interference attempts to ask big questions but isn’t able to give concise answers. No matter, as it’s an entertaining view – just not one that can offer much palpability.

Interference (2018) Written and Directed by Linda di Franco. Starring Bruce Thomas, Tom Wisdom, Victoria Gabrielle Platt, Lovie Underwood, Leona Paraminski, Dante Palminteri, Jayne Taini, Kaleina Cordova, Cayleb Long, Romy Park, Dina Morrone, Ivan Fuchs, Akuyoe Graham.

6 out of 10 stars

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