SeptienFeature Film |
A strong cast as oddball brothers with genuine rapport.
In actor/writer/director Michael Tully's darkly humorous Septien, the Rawlings brothers are a mess. Ezra (Robert Longstreet) wears ruffled denim shirts and compulsively cleans the kitchen. Amos (Onur Tukel) hides in the barn, creating cartoonishly grotesque and lewd drawings. And no one has seen Cornelius (Tully) in 18 years. But when the long-lost sibling suddenly walks in the door, looking like a cross between the Unabomber and Joaquin Phoenix in I'm Still Here, his reappearance sets off a chain of events that force these deeply repressed men to confront their darkest secrets. Set during a hazy Southern summer, the movie has a dreamy, tranquil quality that contrasts with the family's troubles, which increase with the arrival of a cantankerous plumber (Mark Darby Robinson). A long-buried camcorder and a basement art show, soaked in the awkward vibes of a middle-school dance, reveal a softer side of the story and explore Amos' simmering jealousy and anger toward the world. Though the long character development slows down the film somewhat, it helps sell the cathartic, out-of-nowhere ending that pulls together the threads of the ambitious script. Ultimately, what keeps Septien afloat is the loving bond of this broken band of brothers who accept each other for who they are.