Friday, April 22, 2011

An Independent Film That Finds Heart

In the independent film ‘Touch’, director Minh Duc Nguyen, teaches us how a single touch can have such an emotional impact. He also teaches us that you don’t need 3D glasses to make your characters and story three dimensional.

The film focuses on a Vietnamese manicurist named Tam (Porter Lynn). She works at V.I.P. nails and just obtained a new customer, Brendan (John Ruby). Brendan is a shy guy who is looking to clean the oil stains off of his hands, something he hopes will fix his strained relationship with his wife.

Brendan continues to go to the nail salon every day, where his relationship with Tam begins to grow. She soon starts offering him advice about how to fix his relationship. Her advice starts to work but Brendan and Tam start having feelings for each other.

I’m not going to give anymore away, because I don’t want to ruin it.

Let’s get into the review now. Starting with the performances, John Ruby does a great job in the role of Brendan. He is able to make his character believable, which makes us care about him and what he’s going through. Yet, it’s actress Porter Lynn who steals the show. This was Lynn’s first movie and I expect her to be in many more.

Lynn’ strongest point is how she is able to just sink into the role. She was very natural, which made her scenes with her father very strong and my favorite scenes in the movie. She also has the ability to say so much without saying anything. We can understand her character by just observing her behavior, which really impressed me.

One last performance I want to mention is that of Long Nguyen, he plays the father of Tam and gives such an explosive performance. Like I said above his scenes with Lynn were such amazing scenes and that was because the dialogue was solid, the actors seemed to really understand and feel what was going on and the direction was top notch.

Next is the story. Nguyen wrote the script himself and it contains a lot of heart, which seems to be missing from a lot of movies these days. He is able to create a world, fill it with his characters and makes us care what happens to them. I have nothing really negative to say about the script but if I did have to nit pick I would say that some of the minor characters could have had a little more time on screen.

Yet, there is no denying that Nguyen is a storyteller and a gifted director. I recently interviewed him and he revealed what he was working on next.

“I just finish writing the screenplay for my next film. It's a romantic horror...a new twist on the horror genre that I hope audiences will be moved and shocked by its story at the same time,” said Nguyen.

I’m excited for this, I love horror and I’m really interested in what Nguyen has in store for us next.

To sum everything up, Touch has powerful performances, it looks great, the directing is fluent and intuitive and the story is full of heart.

Touch will have its World Premiere at the Boston International Film Festival on Saturday, April 23, 8:15 p.m., at AMC/LOEWS Theatres, 175 Tremont St., Boston Common. You can get tickets here:

Go out and support the film.


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