Indie Gems: Explicit Ills

Love, drugs, passion, poverty.

Explict Ills follows five different stories centered around people in Philadelphia. Jacob and Michelle (Lou Taylor Pucci and Frankie Shaw) are a young couple that fall deep into drug abuse. Rocco (Paul Dano) is a struggling actor. Babo (Francisco Burgos) has asthma, and his mother (Rosario Dawson) struggles to get access to his medication. Demetri (Martin Cepeda) is a teenager trying to pick up his first girlfriend. Jill and Kaleef (Naomie Harris and Tariq Trotter) are a religious couple that struggle with money.

Director Mark Webber takes a very artful approach to his first feature. Each narrative it split up with painted pictures of the people it involves. The color pallet he uses is rich, despite the theme of depression the film has. Dano, Pucci, and Dawson are standouts. While their stories are more interesting than the others, that's not to say they are lacking in any way.

I'm a big fan of Webber, both as an actor and as a director. I look forward to checking out more of his features. (He's got one coming to theaters soon, called The Ever After)

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "At this current moment, getting a little closer to death is a good thing" - Rocco (Paul Dano)


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