‘Clay’s Redemption’ takes us to a neon infested city where Clay will have to seek redemption by defending a girl being targeted by demons.
Directed by: Carlos Boellinger.
Starring: Charlie Blackwood, Magdalena Sverlander, Akie Kotabe, Daniel Stisen, Andromeda Godfrey, Elsa Nori, Phillip Ray Tommy, Gary Baxter, Mark Epstein, Jamie Langlands, Simon Furness, Darby Hawker, Russell Shaw, Joe Wredden, Hugh Lehane, Noel Carrigan, Andrew Forbes, Rona Walter, Tom Bloemsma, Tim Atkinson, Patrick Carroll Jr., Pete Walsh, Chris Barnes, Paul McLaughlin, Alex Beales, Penelope Bosworth, Jon Fraser, Olivier Leclair, Dan Ford, Nuuxs, Akie Kotabe.
Country: United Kingdom.
Genre: Fantasy, thriller.
Running time: 78 minutes.
Telling stories can be easy if you have the talent to express yourself. If you’re dealing with fiction then it can be easier, as the truth cannot always manipulated to follow a guideline of twists and surprises, two of the most effective resources in storytelling. However, engaging the receptor of the information is not very easy. To get the attention of a viewer or reader upon the first “show” depends solely on how you put together an introduction, and what that story beholds at the end. It’s a matter of “how” and “what”. Clay’s Redemption is a good example of great intentions that seem too focused on what someone is trying to express without actually paying attention to decades of culture and genre. It’s a watchable movie under some circumstances. And that’s not a good sign of effective storytelling.
Clay’s Redemption takes place in a very strange town. One that’s full of neon signs and strange events surrounding the innocent. Apparently there’s a battle going on between gods and demons and at the center there’s a enforcer called Clay. He can travel from body to body, barely escaping deadly attacks. His latest mission regards the protection of a young girl. She doesn’t speak a word and Clay at first doesn’t understand the importance of his last mission. As days go by people close to the duo start getting attacked, and soon Clay will have to determine if this last mission is worth everything.
It’s a very complex film considering its production value. Today, everything can be done because technology allows you to comply with genre characteristics. But sometimes it’s preferable to keep a low profile. Think of Blade Runner and its gritty frames, the never ending rain that makes some mistakes bearable, and the fact that it takes place in a very dirty setting. It helped and that resource was unforgettably important.
In Clay’s Redemption there are no fancy shots and yes, the guerrilla style works. But the aesthetics are overriding, and lessen the importance of a story that’s interesting if you could downplay its obvious turns. It’s a movie that works only if you become engaged with its hero formula, a task that’s not easily accomplished considering the main figure. I wish I could know more about this characters, his past, and the reasons behind his insistence on “getting it over with”.
It’s very positive how Clay’s Redemption feels like an optimistic attempt at indie genre. It’s a film made with heart. But unfortunately you can notice its flaws too early in the execution. Indie films are made by people who have talent. Maybe they’re not as experienced in the industry as others, but evaluations are important. A film like Clay’s Redemption is very difficult to make, even with a larger budget. Carlos Boellinger did it and for that he must be applauded. Mistakes can be lessons if you recognize some things can be improved. Clay’s Redemption could have sought more engagement with the viewer using its story, and should have discarded some amateurish and ugly fight scenes.