In the Name of My Peace (2011) – By Josh Samford

The short subject film is an art form that really takes a lot of practice in order to get things just right. This is something that I’ve learned from a wealth of experience writing for Rogue Cinema throughout the years. There are funny and inventive ways of doing things and then there is whatever In the Name of my Peace (dir. Rolando Felizola) tries to do. While certainly not an attempt to craft a serious or important piece of romantic drama, it might be too over the top for the majority of modern audiences to really wrap their heads around. With comedy styling that goes to the utmost extremes in order to deliver the most broad attempts at comedy possible, this isn’t a movie that is going to light a fire under anyone who does not find "hey, what’s up with mother-in-laws?" style jokes to be the height of hilarity.

Alex is a hopeless romantic who dreams of finding that perfect girl who will accept him for all that he is. When he thinks that he has found her on the internet, he decides to meet Vicky for the first time on a romantic vacation in Europe. When the two meet, all seems well. Vicky is a heavyset girl however, and her appetite proves to be a large distraction within this blossoming relationship. She appears to hold no true feelings for Alex and instead uses him for his ability to procure more food for her. After the relationship implodes in upon itself, Alex heads off to the United States where he continues his flawed attempts at romance. He must contend with an overbearing mother, a mystic and the death of a farm animal along the way.

As previously mentioned, the major detriment to this film is the inexcusably broad humor. Taking a page right out of the Troma playbook (The Toxic Avenger and Sgt. Kabukiman), Rolando Felizola plays up the relentless schtick routines until they hit the roof. This is the sort of movie where punchlines are greeted with rubber-faced reactions while in extreme closeup so that the audience knows they are supposed to laugh on cue. Unfortunately, if that isn’t your bag, you will simply find yourself cringing while the movie plays out.

I will say that the film tends to have some visual flair. It’s hard not to impress when you’re shooting on the beautiful European locations that the early half of the film takes place at. Even when things get back stateside, the lighting and use of focus stays on point for several scenes. There are some moments that just seem rather elementary by comparison, but we’re not talking about Andrei Tarkovsky here. The short also seems bigger than it probably is, what with the European section as well as the shots of Alex inside of his jet as it touches down. It gives the short a feeling of "budget", even when I assume there was none.

For my own personal take, In the Name of My Peace is a flawed comedy to be sure. It’s far too over the top for its own good. While I’m sure Felizola has many things he would like to say about relationships and the women within his life, he may need to take things down a notch. You can read more about the short film at the official facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/inthenameofmypeace