When local newspaper publisher Barbara (Maggie Malone) becomes terminally ill, it sets in motion events that will ultimately change her son Tom’s life forever. Before passing, she gives Tom (Joe Mastrino) a silver dollar that used to be his father’s favorite. And Tom could use some luck, as his mother trusted the wrong man, Doug Frain (Brent Foster), with an investment, and the newspaper is on its last legs.
Hoping to save the newspaper, Tom leaves with his gold digger fiancé Linda (Shirin Ciaola) to meet up with Doug and, along the way, tries to prove his love for Linda by buying a lottery ticket with his father’s lucky silver dollar. And at first, things don’t look so good; Linda winds up running off with Doug, even as he is investigated for investment fraud, and Tom is stuck alone, eventually meeting up with his old friend and neighbor, Mia (Heather VanderWielen), who spends her days taking care of her eccentric, math genius uncle Turley (Steve Parks), who is currently on the outs with his evil twin, the eye patch-wearing Morley (also Steve Parks), who wants an investment formula that Turley created that could make him rich. Still with me?
Tom eventually meets and strikes up a friendship with a homeless woman, Meera (Shalaka Kulkarni), to whom Tom hands over his lottery ticket… which happens to be the sole winner of a jackpot worth $350 million dollars. Meera isn’t a jerk, though, and she gives the ticket back to Tom, as he promises to share with her, and everyone else in his life. Things get (even more) complicated when Linda and Doug get wind of the ticket, and they start scheming to get gullible Tom’s money from him.
So, yeah, Satya Kharkar’s feature film Coin Toss has an awful lot going on; perhaps too much. With a score that is bouncy with quirkiness, and an overall lighthearted tone to all events, the film fits itself into one of those comedies of serendipity, where the good and just are rewarded and the evil punished… somewhat. Honestly, there’s not a mean bone in this entire film; even when things are going bad for Tom, you’re never that concerned.
As I mentioned, the plot gets a bit overly complicated, introducing too many subplots and characters to really comfortably follow. The result is a film that, while not unpleasant, just feels convoluted for no other reason than because the filmmakers relish the idea of tying it all together somehow. The problem is, I don’t know if I was as excited about figuring it out as they were about setting it up for me to figure it out.
There’s also some last act special effects that the film could’ve done without. Considering how polished everything else is, from the look of the film to the sound to the pace of the edit, the sudden use of CGI stands out, and not in a good way. It’s just too much, and sours an otherwise satisfying resolution.
Overall, though, Coin Toss is a pretty good film. The stakes never get too high to make you worry about any of the characters; from the film’s opening music, you know this isn’t that type of film. It’s just a competently made film that gets a little too complicated for its own good, but remains pleasant throughout.
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