Jaylen (David L. Murphy) and Coles (Luke Albright) have dropped by their friend Ethan’s place, to try and convince him to come out and play. Ethan (Timothy Cole) reluctantly agrees, and the trio head out for an evening, stopping by to see the local drug dealer, Luther (Gary Cairns), to stock up on something fun to snort (and to invite him along too).
While out, Ethan meets Kate (Marta McGonagle), and the two hit it off. Everything is looking up; the drugs are plentiful, the conversations sufficiently profound for a group that has just snorted up some personality. Things only turn complicated when Kate and Ethan head back to her place.
Lost in a Crowd is a guys’ night out turned tragic. The film presents itself as a character drama; as far as the pacing is concerned, it has a leisurely feel to it. As it rolls along, it’s easy to be unsure whether a major narrative will present itself, or if it will be more of a character study experience. Nevertheless, there is a pervasive uneasiness throughout; when everyone is getting high and bullshitting their way through another evening, you can’t help but feel it is all going to go to shit somehow.
Which makes for an interesting level of appreciation; as the film went along, I didn’t find myself really liking any of the characters however I was nonetheless impressed with the charisma on display. Cairns’ Luther, for example, is that type of character that you just get a creepy feeling about (beyond the fact that he’s the drug dealer with a gun), but you can’t help but hang on his every word. Likewise, the chemistry between Cole’s Ethan and McGonagle’s Kate is strong, natural and convincing.
Oddly enough, where the film seems to feel slightly off is when it begins to pay off the unease it has been letting fester throughout. I don’t want to say it felt contrived, but early on in the film, even in its more vapid moments, it always felt realistic. The developments in the second half felt like too many films we’ve seen before where it becomes time to force in some drama. This is not to say that the film becomes sub par, only that it turns into a different experience.
Overall, though, I enjoyed the film. I liked that I wasn’t sure exactly what type of film I was in for, and I even appreciated my lack of appreciation for the characters, because it allowed the film to play with my expectations a little bit. I understand why the filmmakers made certain decisions to amp up the narrative, but I was at my most charmed when the film felt less forced.
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