Jason Michael Brescia’s Bridge and Tunnel is dramatic feature that follows a group of twenty-something friends in Long Island over the course of 2012. Sal (Ryan Metcalf) and Meghan (Brianne Berkson) are married, and wanting to start a family, though they’ve been unsuccessful. Eric (Chris Viemeister) and Lina (Natalie Knepp) are drifting apart, as Lina wants to live the big city live in New York City, while Eric is reluctant to leave Long Island. Terry (Arjun Gupta) has been busted for driving with intoxicated after the film’s opening New Year’s party, and Nate (Joe Murphy) is unlucky in love, working for his uncle (Wass Stevens) at the local bar. Their lives intersect and play out as new relationships start and end, old secrets are revealed and life moves steadily forward.
I’ll admit to being a bit dubious of the film, at least in the early going. Its set up of being a year in the life of a bunch of twenty-somethings, complete with voiceover updates and a narrative that hops from month to month, felt overly contrived for my tastes; just too cutesy and, initially, confusing with all the characters. It felt like a collection of scenes with no focus.
That said, as the film went along, and I began to get to the know the characters a little better, and the individual narratives started presenting themselves, I found myself caught up and engaged. The film became a portrait of this group of friends, as it always said it would be, and I was into it, even as it played with narrative tradition.
For example, if you think every storyline is going to be neatly addressed and resolved by the end of the film, you’re sadly mistaken. The film is natural, almost frustratingly so, in how it reveals secret motivations and stories regarding these friends, but then doesn’t cleanly wrap it all up. Like one year in anyone’s life, sometimes things just continue to simmer under the surface; who knows when certain conflicts will finally present themselves or come to a head, if at all.
Ultimately, Bridge and Tunnel is a unique film to experience, but in a positive sense. The artifice of the setup sometimes clashes with the realism of the portrayal, but if you give it time, the film may grow on you as it did me.
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