Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 26m
Director(s): Sonja O'Hara
Writer(s): David Ebeltoft
Cast: Danny Ramirez, Keana Marie, Lydia Hearst, Mark St. Cyr, Sam A Coleman, Breon Pugh, Kate Edmonds
Where To Watch: Available on Plex TV, Redbox Streaming, VUDU, Prime Video, Apple TV
RAVING REVIEW: This film, loosely based on the Japanese video game by Kadokawa Games and written by David Ebeltoft, explores the far reaches of human connection and the consequences of our actions. If nothing else, this made me want to hunt down and play this game (so that’s a win regardless of anyone's opinion.)
Following the journey of protagonist Carlos, played by Danny Ramirez, this mystery deeply looks into themes such as loss, addiction, and passion. The film navigates the complexities of relationships formed through written correspondence and raises the question of how well we truly know another person. Let alone when you’re only pen pals; through raw and honest portrayals of emotion, this film creates a poignant connection between Carlos and Sarah, portrayed by Keana Marie, leading to an unforgettable mystery.
The film takes us through the ups and downs of these ordinary lives, juxtaposing the darkness with moments of love, light, and friendship. Both Ramirez and Marie give standout performances, each commanding the screen in every scene.
The non-linear narrative is moving, capturing the essence of the human experience in all its imperfections. However, the story's rough edges and the film's conclusion leave a little to be desired, almost as though you experienced some turbulence on an otherwise excellent flight.
ROOT LETTER is a powerful film that explores the consequences of our actions. If you are not easily deterred by slow pacing and a dark story, this film is a must-watch for anyone looking for thought-provoking and meaningful cinema.
This is my second film from Ammo Entertainment, having watched ROOM 203 last year (released on 4/15/22 and currently streaming on Hulu.) And they continue to deliver with each feature. (although this is the first film they released)
I never had a pen pal, but I could still connect to the emotional nostalgia of waiting for a letter from your pen pal. The film's ties to the Japanese video game may sometimes feel cluttered (based on others' reviews,) yet as a whole; if you’re unfamiliar with the game, you’ll be able to appreciate this on its own.
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[photo courtesy of AMMO ENTERTAINMENT]