I recently had the chance to watch Red Kingdom Rising Directed,Produced and Written by Navin Dev. The trailer looked really intriguing and after watching two of his short films on his youtube channel I knew that I was going to need to put on my thinking cap going into this film and to expect really anything to happen. Below you can read my thoughts on the film.
Synopsis: Mary Ann, a troubled young woman, has been tormented her whole life by dreams of a sinister figure called the Red King and his morbid fairytale kingdom. Following the death of her father, Mary Ann returns to her family home where she recalls the childhood stories of the Red King and Alice from ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ that her father once read to her. Haunting events and suppressed memories propel Mary Ann through the dark corridors of her parental home into the realms of her nightmares where she must finally confront the Red King and gain closure to her scarred past. redkingdomrising.com/synopsis
From watching the trailer and reading the synopsis I knew that the film would be interlaced with reality and a dream world which had inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and Through the looking Glass. First off the look of the film is really amazing. I knew this was an indie film but I kept thinking to myself man the production in this film is fantastic. Then after the film when I found out that the film was shot on Super 16mm and was self produced on a microbudget, honestly I was floored. The look, the camera angles, the use of lighting, all play a factor in this film and really all have meaning. We don't just get a cool looking shot just for the hell of it. There is a lot of thought in this film to specific imagery. In example we see the mother character who is draped in black shadow but there is light to highlight her eyes. When you think you might have seen something in this film that correlates to the story, believe me you are not seeing things. They have a purpose.
Which takes me on to the story and the acting in the film. I looked at the actors IMDB profiles to see what other films or projects they have been in and for most of the actors it looks like this was their first feature film. Again this surprised me because I thought the acting in the film was really solid. Especially dealing with the horrific subject matter in the film and also being able to weave the story between reality and subconscious is truly remarkable. Now I do not want to spoil anything in this film because I think it needs to be watched but you will get a feeling early on what the film is about. At least the basic premise of the story. But in this film we get metaphors,symbolism and layers that my brain was definitely in use while taking everything from the film in. Also I have mentioned before that tone in a film is a great thing when done right. Films that make your mood change within the film, whether you feel happy,sad,depressed,scared, I love that emotional attachment in a film. If a film makes me depressed it is not out of frustration in the film it means that it is doing it's job. I am not saying that I always need to feel something from watching a film, I enjoy lots of films for different reasons. However if you are trying to have a certain feel to your film,the acting,sound, and look play a big part and if one is off then you might lose meaning in certain scenes or even key dialogue moments in the film.
Overall I thought Red Kingdom Rising was a fantastic film on many levels. I think a great thing about the film is even if you do not know all of the references in the film eventually you will start to fill in the pieces later on. This is a smart,intelligent film but does not take an elitist approach and try to be above the audience. It deals with real emotions and real tragedy that might have occurred in many a people's lives. Great performances by the actors and a layered film that sucks you in to this world of emotion,pain and reawakening on more than one level. If you get a chance definitely give this film a watch I think that many will enjoy the film as much as I did.
Source:All photos are property of redkingdomrising.com