The idea for THE GIRL IS IN TROUBLE emerged at New York University’s Graduate Film Program, where Julius Onah teamed with Mayuran Tiruchelvam to co-write the script and fellow NYU colleagues, producer Ryan Silbert, along with his mentor Spike Lee (also an Executive Producer on the film). Onah used his Lower East Side neighborhood as the backdrop to craft a neo-noir that examines the cultural, political, and economic realities of modern New York.
As Onah describes it “the goal was to explore how immigration formed New York’s Lower East Side in the past and still continues to shape the present day as different communities collide and co-exist in one of the last few, true melting pots. “We wanted to tell a fun story that audiences would enjoy watching at home and in theaters,” co-writer and co-producer Tiruchelvam adds, “While we take an ambitious look at greed and corruption in the city, this is also a gritty crime story about a girl, a gun, and a murder.”
Close friends Columbus Short and Wilmer Valderrama had never worked together and saw this film as an opportunity to collaborate. Both men reveal acting chops we have never seen. Although previously on the hit ABC drama Scandal, Short displayed complex emotions and intense speeches as the suave, cool, calm and collected Harrison, August is a little more insecure, unsure and easily swayed when it comes to women.
Walderama, seen in many gritty roles since his That 70’s Show days, blowed me away with his portrayal of grieving gang-banger Angel avenging his brother by any means necessary. Alicja Bachleda is ’the girl in trouble’ and has fantabulous range while tackling the complex character of Signe. It’s hard to believe she is practically a newbie to the film scene, but trust me when I tell you…we will definitely be seeing more of this doll!!! Jesse Spencer as Nicholas brings both pathos and menace to the role making him deliciously entertaining to watch.
The film’s crime/thriller vibe has elements of the Walter Mosely’s film, Devil in the Blue Dress starring Denzel Washington and started off a little slow. However, when it picked up steam, it moved like a train with an express stop destination and I loved it!
Kudos to Julius Onah and his ode to his mentor and producer Spike Lee with a few of his signature camera moves proving that filmmaking is the ultimate inspiration for unique and creative storytelling.
The Girl is in Trouble is not yet rated, had its theatrical release on April 3, 2015 and is available on VOD and iTunes. Running Time: 90 Minutes.