Last Monday, EDSS offered students Pepsi and popcorn in the Student Centre as well as a free seat at the premiere of their first film, Dry on a Sunday. The film follows the lives of three young men on the hunt for marijuana during their city’s dry spell. Of course, they stumble into trouble on their noble quest. They must deal with a murder, two dangerous drug dealers, and an empty lotion bottle when it comes to… alone time.
Now, when I hear the words “student film” I tend to stay away. After having seen so many mediocre (or shall we say “just plain awful”) ones, I cringe at the thought of another student film. But I was surprised by how professional EDSS TV’s was.
The acting in this film knocked me back the most; they all nailed their characters. Adeel Shamsi was great as Mooch, one of the comic relief characters. Considering he also wrote the film, I didn’t know how I’d feel about him performing in it—usually guys behind the camera are there for a reason—but he was a great addition to the movie. Frankie (Patrick Ryder) was the good-guy type who tries to rationalize with his idiot friends, and Jasper (Adrian Beattie) was my favourite as the goofy but somewhat loveable stoner.
The camera work also wasn’t shaky or shoddy like it is in some student films—it was well done and you could tell that they had taken their time to make sure everything looked proper. One of my favourite shots was when Jasper was first introduced, making a sandwich. The camera is inside the bag as he grabs a slice of bread, and we’re introduced to him from inside the bag. It was just an interesting little shot.
Some of the jokes were inappropriate. For example, when Mooch discovers that Frankie hasn’t slept with his girlfriend of three months yet, he jokes, “She’s like an umbrella, makin’ sure you don’t get wet.” Another one that really got to me was when the trio was debating the proper way to hold a gun. When one of them pipes up that two hands is the way to go, Mooch makes another joke about them being a faux gangster and calls him “do-rag man”. Despite their crassness, I will admit that the jokes, particularly the umbrella one, made me laugh harder than I should have. They weren’t that awkward, but I was unsure at first whether I could laugh.
The movie was very well done and gives me hope for student films again. EDSS TV is an initiative introduced by the society’s current president and the film’s producer, Siddharth Singh. Katherine Nadar was executive producer. Everything in front of the camera and behind the scenes is done by UTM students, and that made everything so much more impressive. I’m looking forward to seeing more of their work.