Script and direction are remarkable here, but the performances by our three leads are what ultimately sells us on the story. When the story begins, we are immediately sold on these characters and their history together. The three have phenomenal chemistry, and the performances by Botello, Weiner, and Byrd do a lot of the heavy lifting in selling us on the rapport that these three have. We buy into them. Hence we buy into their desperate search to belong.
“…looks like a million bucks even though it was probably made for a fraction of that.”
Pledge looks like a million bucks even though it was probably made for a fraction of that. William Babcock’s lensing delivers a posh, Upstate look that could be Anywhere, U.S.A. Of course, this is also in part because of clean production design from Clarisa Garcia-Fresco and the delightful, practical makeup effects by Tanyusha Bogun.
Watching Pledge, I almost felt like I had found the loophole in the system and discovered that it doesn’t take a big budget or a recognizable IP to sell a ticket. I was wholly entertained from the start to the finish of this lean, yet strangely funny story of the need to belong and the lengths we could go to become a member of a tribe. Of any tribe for that matter.
I have to say that I recommend signing up to take this pledge.
Pledge (2018) Directed by Daniel Robbins. Written by Zack Weiner, Starring Zachery Byrd, Phillip Andre Botello, Zack Weiner, Erica Boozer, Aaron Dalla Villa, Cameron Cowperthwaite, Jesse Pimentel.
7 out of 10 stars