Faith in Destiny (2012) – By Philip Smolen

Killian (Keith Neagle) has just been released from prison after four years. He returns to his girlfriend Mary (Jae Jarvis) only to find that’s she’s leaving for Chicago the next day for a six month engagement. Upset, Killian tries his best to deal with his heartbreak and goes about trying to reclaim his life. But depression gets the best of him and he finds himself frequenting a local watering hole and drowning his sorrow in booze. One night a beautiful and alluring young woman named Destiny (Sasha Daniel) walks into the bar and buys Killian a drink. Before long, they find themselves at Killian’s place and the choices that he makes that night will alter the course of his life and force him to face a future that he never could have imagined with another strange woman named Faith (Sasha Daniel).

“Faith in Destiny” is a film noir from writer/director James Choi. It’s a moody and philosophical movie that’s about the choices that are made in life. Killian is a wounded soul who has paid his debt and only wants to be normal again. But when he’s released from prison, his girl selfishly walks out on him just when he needs her most. Drowning his sorrows in a bar and pining for Mary, Killian only needs to ignore the advances of the sultry Destiny to keep his life on track. Of course, he’s unable to resist her and then can’t stop his life from spiraling out of control.

There’s a lot to like here and I found myself mostly involved throughout the film. Choi’s micro-budgeted movie features beautiful digital photography, as well as some very haunting images. His compositions are meticulous, evocative and thought provoking, and I am amazed at the professional quality of this indie feature. There’s also a wonderful and pleasing score by Megan Carnes which lends solid emotional support.

This is basically a two character drama and both leads really grab and hold onto you throughout the film. Keith Neagle does a great job and shows you all of Killian’s emotional wounds with just a look or a fleeting glance. You really do feel for this wounded soul. Beautiful Sasha Daniel is a revelation as Destiny and Faith. Each character is very different and Ms. Daniel brings a different and appropriate level of intensity to each of them.

The movie loses some steam about halfway through, and there are some head scratching choices that Killian makes, but this doesn’t ruin the flick. “Faith in Destiny” is a mysterious, sexy and brooding thriller with a decidedly philosophical edge. I think it also has the potential to become an indie film festival favorite.

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