A hard working drum teacher from Dangriga, Belize, writes songs in his spare time and dreams of fame and fortune. But will he be willing to barter his marriage and soul to the only one who can make his dream a reality?
Ross Jordan’s Stranded N Dangriga is a true example of a comedy of errors at its finest. The film’s simple and universal plot concerns a man named James (Sheldon Petillo) and his wife, Janice (Joanie Martinez). The two reside in a modestly furnished home with a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea. Each day James gives music lessons to untalented students to make ends meet and keep his attractive wife happy.
When the lessons end for the day, James rehearses his own compositions and, with continuous nudging from his pal Eddie (Marley Nunez), an ambitious gas station attendant, James prays for his big break. James seems to have everything going for him domestically. His wife adores him and life is good. But James has one nagging problem that threatens to bring everything crashing down upon his head. He is insanely jealous of anyone and anything when it comes to Janice. Usually Janice can laugh off her husband’s insecurity and make James see his foolishness, but she has to work harder and harder to make this happen. It is on their anniversary that a famous music producer (Clarence Bailey) from Belize City comes to town, and everything swiftly and monumentally spirals out of control.
What makes Stranded N Dangriga work, in spite of a relatively unknown cast and crew, is that its socially provocative script is extremely well-crafted and very dryly hilarious. The timing of the actors is outstanding, which makes the series of ridiculous events oddly believable. The result is that you’ll be glued to the screen while laughing, crying and arguing with your significant other, all at the same time.
Jordan’s cinematography is seamless— juxtaposing the minimalistic simplicity of Dangriga with the majesty of its surrounding landscape.
In terms of filmmaking, Jordan’s movie feels both amateur and seasoned, much like the work produced during the Italian Neorealism film movement. I don’t consider this a flaw by any means, and actually enjoy Stranded N Dangriga’s occasional choppiness and imperfections.
I sincerely hope that viewers will have the opportunity to see the absorbing and seriously funny Stranded N Dangriga in the very near future. It’s a movie that will definitely keep the lines of communication between men and women open for a long time to come.
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