Dodging the police, Gensan has Ruby take a bus and meet him at a stop across town. He plans to take Ruby away from L.A. until the heat from the cockfight incident cools off. Things get complicated as Ruby arrives with a large cardboard box containing the baby.
“…want so much for the situation to work itself out and it’s so painful when it doesn’t.”
All Creatures Here Below primarily follows the lead character Gensan played by the film’s writer David Dastmalchian. Gensan just wants to find a place of peace and safety, but life will have nothing to do with it. He places himself in an illegal cockfight that escalates to murder. Thinking he can merely flee the state, Ruby intensifies their problems with the kidnapping. Gensan’s need to control everything is continually thwarted either by the law chasing them or by Ruby‘s delusions of motherhood.
This is not a happy film. It’s not meant to be. Dastmalchian and Gillan have created two very wounded and flawed characters, but likable as hell. “Hell” is a good descriptor. You want so much for the situation to work itself out and it’s so painful when it doesn’t. I was right there with Gensan feeling control slip from his fingers, his moments of clarity quickly clouded by circumstance, and his final look on his face at the end.
Let me end on this, All Creatures Here Below does place a spotlight on the wounded and abused adult-children wandering the streets of America. There’s no overt message of the problem in the film, but you know they’re there like ghosts blended into the background and this is one of many tales to be told. It’s clearly a story that has ruminated in the mind of Dastmalchian for quite a while. You’ll like All Creatures Here Below because you connect with the leads and their story and want to take part on their journey…for better or for worse.
All Creatures Here Below (2018) Directed by Collin Schiffli. Written by David Dastmalchian. Starring David Dastmalchian, Karen Gillan, David Koechner, Jennifer Morrison, Richard Cabral, John Doe. All Creatures Here Below made its world premiere at DT LA Film Festival.
8 out of 10 stars