The moral of the story. From the Bible to “Fight Club” most stories have a gem of wisdom buried inside of them somewhere. What makes Dhaval’s Mehta’s “Transit” so frustrating is that his moral is lost thanks to an unfocused script and distracting side characters.
Russ (Oakes-Bisson) and Cassie (Neuhaus) are at odds given Russ’ lack of effort within their relationship and recurring habit of skipping her family get-togethers for acting auditions. What could be a cute short film regarding taking responsibility in life quickly veers off course with the introduction of wacky side characters. Sami (Bobby Routh) is a wannabee gang member who decides to rob someone on a dare and ends up in Russ and Cassie’s apartment. While in the apartment Sami runs into Frank (Michael Whitney) a goon working for the building’s landlord who has come to forcibly collect the rent.
The crux of this film is on the showdown in the apartment between Cassie and the two thieves who have found their way into her home. While played for laughs this entire sequence is a diversion from what seems to be Mehta’s point for the film, Russ’ maturing as a boyfriend. In fact our protagonist Russ is decidedly absent from most of the action within the film despite the fact he is the character we spend the most screen time with. This is not to say the aside with Sami and Frank isn’t amusing, it just doesn*t seem to fit given the serious aspect of Russ and Cassie’s situation.
There is an old adage in film of “kill your baby”, the act of knowing when to cut out a sequence or idea that you love but realize does not work within the context of your piece. “Transit” would have benefitted from such a philosophy and hopefully in Mehta’s next outing his moral is allowed to develop within a tighter story.