Film in Focus: Pendulum

The action-thriller Pendulum, directed by T&T filmmaker Michael Rochford, had its world premiere yesterday at the ttff/15. Our blogger, Aurora Herrera, attended the screening.

“I hope it does what we’re trying to make it do,” Michael Rochford said of his film at its ttff/15 world premiere.

It definitely did.

Pendulum is about a former Marine turned journalist investigating the murder of a man, which he is accused of committing. When Luther, the CEO of a major software company, realises he has a stalker intent on doing him harm, he calls in Ryan, an old friend and former soldier. Ryan, who is battling with post-traumatic stress disorder, tracks down the stalker and is forced to kill him, but in so doing, makes a shocking discovery. Now Ryan must decipher whether he is being framed or succumbing to the delusions of his illness.

I was fortunate enough to interview Rochford before the premiere and he spoke about his desired impact of the film.

“Pendulum is a thrill ride encompassing great characters, a suspenseful mystery with a compelling story to keep you guessing at every turn,” he said.

Coincidentally I also sat next to Rochford at the screening. This made for a very colourful experience, as I was able to ask him questions throughout.

I was in a constant state of guessing; I was wondering why one of the protagonists, Luther Bharath, after being shot and killed kept turning up? I asked if, being the owner of a technology company, he cloned himself and now his discarded clones were coming for revenge. I wondered whether the other protagonist Ryan Williams had imagined the entire thing or maybe he had killed Bharath in an anxiety-induced state due to his posttraumatic stress disorder. I was suspicious of everyone!

Rochford took all of my questions in good stride. He also apologised for the wonky audio, explaining that they were remiss in working with an inexperienced soundman.

Rochford also mentioned in his interview that the film features “an all-local cast of young new talent, and inspiring well-photographed compelling imagery.”

This I could agree with. Stephen Hadeed Jr. (Luther) reminded me of a young George Clooney. His voice is rich and warm as is his talent. Jovon Browne’s performance was indeed substantial. I really believed that he was ex-Marine turned journalist Ryan Williams. I am seeing the actress Anokha Baptiste everywhere these days! That girl is on fire. Yes, she is a head-turner but she also has the goods and offers an entertaining performance in Pendulum.

One audience member echoed my sentiments on the cinematography saying that it was a pleasure to see so much of the urban geography of Trinidad on the big screen. I can honestly say that I have never seen that amount of local urban layout in a film. It was truly pleasing to have those “I know where that is!” moments.

The cinematography was very interactive and visually expansive. I particularly liked the establishing shots. Rochford explained to me that they shot with one camera and so had to shoot each scene a number of times to capture all the angles. There were some definite money shots that were captured by a drone the team utilised.

There were some issues with continuity and graphics. However, Pendulum, which is in competition for best local feature at the ttff/15, is a great first film for Rochford and his team.

You can see Pendulum again on the following dates:

Fri 25 Sept, 4.00, MovieTowne POS Q&A
Fri 25 Sept, 8.00pm, MovieTowne Tobago
Sat 26 Sept, 6.30pm, UWI Q&A
Mon 28 Sept, 3.00pm, MovieTowne Tobago

Date: Fri 18 Sep, 2015
Category: ttff news and features

Film in Focus: Pendulum

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