Slamdance Film Festival Review: Neptune

Slamdance Film Festival Review: Neptune

Neptune presents to you a classic coming of age narrative combined with a unique take on path to finding oneself. 

This film follows a young orphan girl who has been raised by a Paster and brought up on strong church values. Neptune continuously reminds you of the christian values that young Hannah Newcombe, played absolutely beautifully by Jane Ackermann, is supposed to behold. The narrative accomplished this by pushing those values on the viewers in the same way they have been pushed on Hannah throughout her entire life. The concept of this is not unique to any of us, as we have all experienced times in which ideas were pressed upon us, and it can be incredibly difficult to resist conforming to said ideas.

Hannah struggles with this, and when a school classmate of her’s disappears without a trace in their obscure island town off the coast of Maine, it set her on a path not to find her classmate, but to find herself. She begins helping out her missing schoolmate’s family with their local business, and finds she enjoys many things outside of the Church; A feeling she has never had the privilege or opportunity to experience before. Neptune proceeds to show us the building levels of defiance and pushback Hannah delivers to her Church and guardian alike, all met with equal force pressed upon leading to borderline child abuse.  In these moments we can see the desperation in the actions by her guardian. and instead of supporting Hannah, his actions in fact help grow her fondness of the idea to leave the island all together. 

Director Derek Kimball is able to execute a screenplay, written by himself and Matthew Brown, flawlessly. The emotion captured in the characters eyes and facial expression is without question perfectly done.While for the majority of the cast there is not much depth to their characters, the lead role of Hannah is performed exquisitely by Ackermann, who undoubtedly displayed her pure acting talent in Neptune. Couple that with excellent cinematography, which is likely the most enjoyable aspect of this film — which is saying a lot considering how impeccably well done this feature is as a whole — and you’ve got a true gem. While for the majority of the cast there is not much depth to their characters, the lead role of Hannah is performed exquisitely by Ackermann, who undoubtedly displayed her pure acting talent in Neptune.

This film is sure to get some buzz to it after it’s showing at Slamdance Film Festival, however I question it’s ability to land any type of distributing. Note that I feel this way not due to the ability of this film, but I doubt distribution companies will have the balls, if you will, to say “He’s a truly beautiful film, go and see it!”, instead of simply choosing the next awful comedy or street racing film instead. These are the types of films we need in every theater, however I’m just glad a major festival like Slamdance picked this up.

Trailer:


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