Andrew (Evangelos Giovanis) is a substitute teacher nearing the end of his rope. One of his students, Jermain (Joshua Scarlett), finds himself on the outs with his mother’s new a*****e boyfriend. Mr. V (Sam Coppola) is the barbershop owner who may have more going on than simply cutting hair, and Franky (Doug Eldridge) and Manny (George Giovanis) are two criminal tough guys who are not so bright, trying to get their latest job handled. Over the course of one day, these characters, and more, will impact each other’s lives through a series of coincidences and worse.
Evangelos Giovanis and George Giovanis’ feature film, Run It, goes for the multi-character, dubiously inter-connected narrative and pulls it off. The tone and feel is raw, the actions and scenes can be abrasive and offensive at times and it doesn’t pull any punches in any direction. Despite its roughest moments, however, it retains a certain disturbing charm.
The film isn’t afraid to move the camera, and try for more adventurous camera angles. It works as a form of visual poetry in its best moments, and can be disconcerting in its worst moments. All together, with an editing style that is as raw and matter-of-fact as much of the subject matter, the film can at times feel unfocused, but the aesthetic works to show a number of disparate lives connecting by the film’s end.
Thus it rewards those who make it all the way through. It’s easy to get lost amid the trees and miss the forest, however, so it’s not always a comfortable or easy narrative experience in the interim, but when it hits its groove, it’s hard not to stay engaged.
That said, I wish we had gotten to that groove a bit sooner. Then again, would it have the impact it does if certain scenes weren’t allowed to breath early on? It’s hard to say, but maybe there is a 100 minute cut in here somewhere that can deliver too, connecting the dots earlier. However, Run It does work as it is.
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