Reverie Three (2009) – By Cary Conley

Foster has suffered every orphan’s nightmare:  after years of bouncing through orphanages and foster care, he is finally adopted by a loving family only to be treated as a second-class citizen and even abused when the couple actually give birth to a biological child.  Foster has been relegated to punching-bag status as he sees his "brother," Owen, treated like a prince.  Owen is the shining star, the Golden Child, and his parents are very proud of him even as they continue to heap abuse onto Foster.

The film opens as Foster is being screamed at and humiliated by his "father" for arriving late to work at the family’s mechanics garage.  Foster must take Owen to an important job interview, but his "father" suspects that Foster is late arriving at the garage to sabotage Owen’s opportunity.  And Foster definitely has sabotage on his mind–but not just for Owen. 

It seems that Foster has been in therapy and his shrink has used hypnosis on him often enough that Foster has learned to use it as well.  Working his way from Dad, to Mom, and finally Owen, Foster drugs each of them and then hypnotizes them.  His plan is to send them to rob a bank, return with the money, and wreak his revenge on his so-called "family" before making a clean getaway.  But is everything really what it seems?  Is Foster truly abused, as he thinks, or is he merely jealous of Owen’s biological connection to Foster’s surrogate mother and father?  Will Foster’s plan work or will it fail miserably, just as Foster believes his life has failed miserably?

Filmmaker Alfredo Salvatore Arcilesi has crafted an interesting and unique 30-minute short film, equal parts family drama and thriller.  It is the study of a broken mind, but in the end, the viewer is left to determine whether Foster’s problems are the result of abuse by his adoptive family or perhaps something that runs much deeper.  Arcilesi wrote, directed, produced, shot and edited this film, which is interesting in that it was filmed in about 10 hours and made up almost entirely of five long tracking shots, with only a handful of inserts to round out the film.  The story takes place over three time periods, opening with the final shots of Foster’s plan as it unfolds.  The story then moves backwards in time a bit more to see Foster’s plan in full bloom before taking us to the present time for a bit of a twist ending.

The film is quite well-done, from writing and directing all the way to the cinematography as well as the acting.  Arcilesi proves he is a filmmaker to be reckoned with and the film is all the more impressive when you realize the budget was only $500.  Ultimately, Reverie Three is a solid effort and an enjoyable view.  If you would like to see this film, please go to http://vimeo.com/3990361.