Despite the relatively short runtime of just over an hour, In Montauk is able to capture complex relationship problems that life sometimes hands us. Written and directed by Kim Cummings is an indie drama that explores difficult situations that do not necessarily have a right or wrong answer. While the film is not without its faults, it does come around in the end.
We meet Julie Wagner (Nina Kaczorowski) as she pulls into a condo located near the beach in Montauk. When she arrives she quickly bolts to the bathroom to vomit. The walls in this condo are paper thin and as she is eating her pasta that she made she hears the person next door playing music. Since sound travels both ways the person in the other room also heard her vomiting throughout the night.
The next morning as Julie is leaving she runs into the neighbor who introduces himself as Christian Nygaard (Lukas Hassel). He brings up the fact that the walls are so thin that maybe they should consider switching rooms but Julie explains that she owns this condo with her husband and therefore is not capable of change rooms. It was an awkward introductory conversation to have with a stranger but it does end quickly.
The biggest flaws in the film are at the beginning with a contrived script and messy dialog. It also did not help that characters was very abrasive and rude at first, despite good acting performances from them. Where In Montauk really shines though is the cinematography. Because the main character is a photographer the film often gives us beautiful shots that portray her work. It was an effective way to show some stunning compositions.
By the end of the film, In Montauk catches itself from some of the stumbling that occurred from the rocky start. It takes a very familiar story that you may find on a Lifetime television program and puts an artistic touch on it. In Montauk’s ending may be unsatisfying for some but I feel like it was one of the stronger parts of the film. Often in life there are no clear answers to complex situations and this film is no different.
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Way Too Indie Rating: 6.7/10
This article originally appeared on WayTooIndie.com
Review by WayTooIndie.com’s Dustin Jansick
Dustin Jansick is the founder and editor of WayTooIndie.com which focuses on reviewing independent films and music. He has a huge love for indie cinema as well as anything that P.T. Anderson makes. Aside from being a film critic he also is a web designer who maintains AbstractInfluence.com as well as a few other sites. Check Way Too Indie out on facebook.com/WayTooIndie and @WayTooIndie on Twitter.