“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright clearly loved all the bliss and enjoyment nature gives. He’s certainly not the only one. Director Josh Melrod (Albanian Gangster, Peter and John) decided to give Mother Nature a very prominent place in his newest feature film. With that he created an extraordinary eye-catching film that includes subtle and beautiful acting performances but also an amazingly compelling soundtrack.
Life hasn’t always been easy for Dink (Ujon Tokarski). As a former alcoholic and nearly completely broken, he returns to his hometown to start his life all over again. However, once he arrives, it’s proven to be easier said than done. His former home has become irreparably damaged and with almost no electricity or water, he’s on the brink of collapsing. To change his life once and for all and to arise from the misery, pain and the torture, he decides to go back to the basics, the purity and the tranquillity of Mother Nature. While camping out in the middle of the woods, he starts to make his own small cabin with all the natural sources he can find around him. Almost completely ready to escape the poverty, addiction and his difficult time, he re-encounters Sierra (Tara Summers), a woman with whom he shares a complex and troubled past and when his totally wretched and unhappy mother (Lane Bradbury) turns up at his doorstep, Dink is at an extremely important crossroads in his life. Struggling with the person he was and the person he wants to become… What will the cards of the future hold for him?
The story of Major Arcana isn’t the most exciting, compelling or grandiose one. However, that doesn’t mean it’s boring, dull or flat. The love from this broken man for the calmness of nature, the quiet things in life and the perseverance to get back on his feet is a wonderful and mesmerizing thing to see. You don’t get to know the entire background story of Dink, thanks to which you start wondering what happened to him and start to fill in the gaps to make his story complete. The strange and weird but still very close and amicable connection between him and Sierra is also something very intriguing because you don’t know what happened. You can only see the undeniable impact of this on their current behaviour. Just like the troubled relationship between him and his mother of which most of anger, ache and despair comes from money problems. However, there might be more to it than meets the eye. The really fascinating human emotions mixed with the mysterious story is one of the things that kept us going through the entire movie.
How contradictory it is, the most present element of this film is the quietness. It almost takes ten minutes before the first words of the movie are spoken and more correctly, being whispered. There’s almost no dialogue and when there’s a story that needs to be told, it’s being told by feelings, the images and the musical score. As mentioned before, it’s all about the human emotions, which are portrayed amazingly well by all the leading characters. We see Ujon Tokarski (of whom Major Arcana is the very first film) as the broken, miserable but still hopeful and loving Dink who shows his character’s pain, vulnerability and suffering with his incredibly acting. As his hopeless, vain and sad mother, it’s the wonderful Lane Bradbury who delighted us with performances in series such as Billions and Deception and who now shows us her sensitive and emotional side. Tara Summers (Driven, Wanderland) is portraying the very vulnerable, sensitive but also head-strong Sierra in a very delicate and subtle way. It’s also all about the cinematography created by Ramsey Fendall (Bodega, I can’t Lose). Most of the scenes contain close-ups of the wonderful nature in which you can see the little miracles unfold and which grabs the attention of the viewers even more and brings the emotion even closer.
A movie like this deserves the most fitting musical score. Quiet, melodic and dreamy, and that’s exactly what it gets. If we mention that the title track has been written and performed by Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody, then you know that this movie has the most perfect and beautiful soundtrack.
So, if you’re up for a movie where the action is pushed to the background in a good way by human emotions and feelings, then Major Arcana is the movie you should buy a ticket to. Watch this wonderful story come to life on the big screen thanks to captivating acting performances, charming music and heart-warming cinematography.
Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter – Just Celebrity Magazine