“Broken” is sure to be a resounding winner

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London born Alan White directs his very first American feature- “Broken”, a dark tale of lust, addiction and hope set in LA. From the opening onward, “Broken”, engages from the very get go. Heather Graham plays Hope, an All American girl from Cleveland, with big dreams bound for Los Angeles. Hope aspires to be a hit musician all the while serving in a dead end job as a waitress.

Along her obstacle laden path to stardom, she meets a suave Will (Jeremy Sisto), a mysterious stranger whom she meets on the beach while sun worshiping. Will determined to be in Hope’s life, sparks up a conversation with her. As part of the conversation, he asks her, “are you afraid of me?” She replies, “should I be?” This is the question that will be answered in the film.

Will quickly becomes what Hope needs in her life- a supporter, a lover, someone to be there for her. Their love is magical in her eyes in the beginning. From the two sharing their love from living room couch to an urban rooftop during sunrise, things seem picture perfect. However, things go left of center, as both begin to spiral downward with the inclusion of drugs. Like the snake tattoo which appears on Will’s body in the beginning of the film, Will’s influence over Hope is too powerful to avoid, too hypnotizing to break free from. Will is a canny snake and Hope is his unwilling prey.

Equally as powerful to avoid are the numerous personality types which frequent Hope’s diner. From a music producer and the mediocre band he represents, film producers who cleverly arrive to mention they are making a film called, “Broken” and reveal plot points of the film, to a gorgeous wayward drug user named Sara who tosses temptation Hope’s way. In addition, Jake Busey (Vince) and Joe Hursley (Rob) play two comedic diner patrons who round out the richly developed cast.

Linda Hamilton (Karen), plays a cynical patron with a young protégé named Mia who proposition her for an escort service. Tess Harper as intense as Clare and knows just enough crucial information about Will to warn Hope about his ways. Dialogue is fast, nicely delivered, never bland and sharp. The characters are intensely interesting. Graham’s and Sisto’s performances are riveting, and a special mention to the edgy and very moving soundtrack which ebbs and flows with changes of emotion and scene.

Hope seeks to break the never ending bad luck she’s been having and escape her lot in life. Will is falling further and away from Hope’s grasp. In order to break her losing streak, she jilts Will and tosses him out her life. Will can’t live without her and comes back emotionally a wreck but this time to a different woman he’s been used to. Hope is bent on turning her life around and this time without Will dragging her down. Taking command of a stolen car while in Vegas to being equipped with a gun, Will’s quest is simple…win Hope back and he’ll do it by any means…even criminal.

Wonderfully scripted by Drew Pillsbury and directed by Alan White, “Broken” is sure to be a resounding winner and a make a lasting impression in its 97 minutes of sheer emotion, from love to frenzy. You’ll experience every minute of it without one moment to breathe. What a rush.

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Weak: 1 Star   Average: 2 Stars   Good: 3 Stars   Very Good: 4 Stars   Excellent: 5 Stars

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Tobe R. Roberts

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