Published on October 23rd, 2018 | by Neil Jordan0
Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Fanatics!
Films are not just a way for us to be entertained, but they are also a means of learning about the people and the world around us. Whether the premise is fictional or based in part on actual fact or truth. They can open our eyes to things we couldn’t understand or wouldn’t want to understand before or go so far as to inspire us to save a life that we might not have known was in jeopardy before. Today’s film for your consideration broaches on a subject that is definitely not a positive one … it may even bring about old memories that caused great sorrow for some but the lessons it imparts could change someone’s mind, open their eyes to an issue that was right in front of them but perhaps not so visible, maybe even save a life. Depression, regardless of its cause, can lead some to contemplate harming themselves or someone else and also to one taking their own life. This film I believe, is one people should watch because it shows that no matter how bad things might be or how harsh life might steer you … taking your own life is NOT the answer.
‘REACH’ Is a dramatic comedy film directed by Leif Rokesh and stars Garrett Clayton, Johnny James Fiore, Steven Thomas Capp, Chelsea Cook, Joey Bragg, Bojesse Christopher, Jordan Doww, Rio Mangini, Concetta Tomei, Kevin Sizemore, Grant Harling, Tiffany Philips, Natasha Capp, Ashely Stauffer, Raffaela, Jully Lee, Wren Barnes, Maria Capp, Michelle Danner, and Corbin Bernsen.
Co-written by Johnny James Fiore, Grant Harling, and Maria Capp ‘REACH’ introduces the audience to Steven Turano (Clayton). A socially awkward yet intelligent and musically-gifted high school student beginning his final year of high school. While most of his fellow students are beginning their senior years looking to the future, Steven isn’t looking to the future. Following years of depression after the death of his mother and the absence of his father Steve (Christopher), a local police officer, Steven has made the decision to take his own life. Before Steven can work up the nerve to consume the bottle of pills which will end his life the high school bully and coincidentally Steven’s former childhood best friend Nick (Doww) decides to humiliate Steven publicly. Miraculously, the eccentric new student Clarence West (Fiore) enters the fray and not only stops Nick from humiliating Steven but then proceeds to turn the tables and embarrass Nick not just at the school but online as well.
From that point on Clarence makes it a point to do everything possible to befriend Steven and show him that despite life’s hardships it is not to be dismissed or taken for granted. Soon Steven begins to realize that a person’s actions can affect the lives of those closest to us in ways we don’t even realize nor can we imagine whether it’s immediate or years into the future. Soon the tables turn and although Steven knows Clarence almost as well as Clarence’s grandparents at this point, Steve discovers that beyond the all the experiences and wisdom Clarence has taught him … they both have demons in their past and that the tragedies they each experienced have collided in perhaps the worst way possible. With his newfound determination, Steven attempts to confront the demons of his past that plagued his life and hopefully reconcile with those that were lost to him.
Suicide and depression are not by any means matters that are easily discussed even with the family and friends that we he hold dear. Even more so when people are somehow oblivious to those that care about them the most. This film explores the subject in a serious yet sometimes humorous way that does not treat it lightly but also allows the viewer to find humor along the way that actually helps to engage the subject matter. It does not gloss over the issue though. Eventually the story shows that the possibility of a loved one dying, whether it’s by their own hand or by that of others, affects those around them and branches it not just through people but through the years as well like a ripple in a pool of water. Suicide is not just the taking of one life but potentially other lives down the road.
I’d give this film three and a half stars. It’s a film that needs to be seen especially by young people. Not just to impart the message that suicide is not the answer, but also to inspire compassion for those who suffer from depression or have suffered a traumatic loss. Although the film clocks in at 90+ minutes it actually goes by fast. 90 minutes that could potentially inspire someone to seek help or help someone else. It’s currently available on Amazon Prime.