Written by: Josiah Simpson/Mitchel Viernes | Directed by: Mitchel Viernes | Genre: Drama
Chanel (Taiana Tully) is visiting her deceased parents in what's become a ritual and she notices she's not alone. It's her brother. Caleb (Randall Galius Jr.) has always been the rebellious child of the family and from the look of things, he hasn't been coping as well as Chanel has. The two appear to not speak anymore and this hurts Chanel deeply... but what can she do? Her brother is going to have to figure it out and finally get through the grief. Later on, Chanel gets invited to a party by her work friends. The promise is that it's only a small gathering but when she gets there, it's pretty big. It's obvious that Chanel doesn't like the larger gatherings and maybe she is still grieving the death of her parents more than she lets on. That's something anyone who has lost someone will instantly appreciate but for Chanel, things are about to spiral downward again. She gets a call that her brother is in the hospital and rushes to see him.
We then see how Caleb's day has gone, backtracking to when he saw his sister at the cemetery. I won't go into details but he's really not doing well even though he is clearly trying. The image of him trying to build the house of cards is a powerful one. What's also put onscreen is a little history about the siblings, and their parents before they died. Even then, Caleb had some problems and was rebellious, It's at this point that Chanel decides to take a bit of a break and sits in the cafeteria... and it's shown just how badly most people feel about her situation, and how much they think her brother is a major screwup.
As Caleb slowly recovers, and after Chanel has preyed for guidance from her parents, this film takes a real tragic turn. Not what I expected at all, to the credit of the filmmakers. As it turns out, as much as Water Like Fire is about Chanel, it's also about Caleb and his steps to recovery. The more appropriate thing to say is that this film is about Caleb's jolt to recovery. At first I wasn't all that happy with how things played out; the way things had to be in this movie. Then, after the fact, it occurred to me that Water Like Fire did what it had to do to get its point across. Life is hard and sometimes it has to get even harder in order to balance itself out. Sometimes it really does take a sledgehammer to hammer in a thumbtack. I won't say that the ending was all happy-go-lucky, but it did the trick.
I also want to say that for a micro budget movie, Water Like Fire looks amazing. From the gorgeous shots at the beach to the stunningly effective handling of interior shots, this film looks like ten million bucks. Seriously, if you're looking for an independent micro budget film that is watchable for anyone, look no further. It also doesn't hurt that the story and acting are all really great either. When you're looking for a drama to eat up some time, Water Like Fire will more than do the trick. It's got all the right pieces in all the right places. 4.5/5 stars seem like a perfect rating, and thank you for reading.
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