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Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Violent Separation 2019 * * * Stars

A Violent SeparationDirectors: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz
Year: 2019
Rated NR
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Ben Robson, Ted Levine

"You drop a stack of hay in a tub of water and the needle will fall to the bottom". Huh, that's interesting.

Anyway in 1998, I remembered seeing one of my all-time favorite films. That would be Sam Raimi's coaxing and nasty thriller, A Simple Plan. A Violent Separation feels very rain-soaked, very Mayberry, slightly neo-noir, and Simple Plan...ish. Yup, it's my latest review.

"Separation" with its depressing, closed-in feel, heralds solid performances from its B-list cast. That's especially inherent in Ted Levine who plays a disciplined, can't-let-it-go detective. "Separation's" two brother directors (Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz) create a flick with palpable tension and diverse moments where nothing is actually what it seems. Their "Separation" may be slow at times but it unfolds effectively with a Lady Macbeth-type character flaw (spoiler).

Image result for a violent separation movie scenesHarboring a setting involving small town Missouri circa 1983 (even though it doesn't really look like 1983), A Violent Separation chronicles two siblings named Norman and Ray Young (played intensely by Brenton Thwaites and Ben Robson). Ray accidentally kills his girlfriend by gunshot and his young, sheriff bro Norman tries to help him cover it up.

Look for actors who resemble other actors (Thwaites looks like Andrew Garfield, Robson looks like Chris Hardwick, and Alycia Debnam-Cary has that Emmy Rossum thing going on), a lot of metaphoric fishing scenes, an ardent musical score, and lots of bar tussles. Basically, "Separation" has the same southern fried look as 2017's Running Wild. You can smell the horse manure, leather boots, leather chaps, and well whiskey from a mile away.

Image result for a violent separation movie scenesA Violent Separation was shot in Louisiana yet made to look like it all went down in The Show-Me State (I didn't pick up on that initially). It's a little Lifetime network, a little direct-to-video, and sort of low budgeted (watch for fake snowflakes and even faker ground snow). Still, A Violent Separation is involving enough to recommend. "Separation" is mucho "trepidation". Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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