August 19th, 2022
MOVIE: GET AWAY IF YOU CAN
STARRING: TERRENCE MARTIN, DOMINIQUE BRAUN, ED HARRIS
DIRECTED BY: DOMINIQUE BRAUN, TERRENCE MARTIN
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 2 STARS (Out of 4)
Get Away If You Can could be described as an experiment. Not a bad one either, as the directorial debut for the married couple of Dominique Braun and Terrence Martin becomes an attempt to capture something real, a brief snippet of inspiration. Sadly for the viewers we become subjected to that experiment, capturing a married couple taking a voyage on a boat together to escape from civilization, only to find themselves bickering at sea. Undoubtedly there is a slice of truth to this story, with the professional acting side coming in from Ed Harris, as the bitter old father telling his son he’s crazy to live with this woman. Sadly that is not enough, as Get Away If You Can quickly becomes advice to take, when it comes to this independent film’s final result.
The characters are not given actual names (nor do they in the credits), but it’s just their acting names, and we meet Terrence and Dominique sleeping in the cabin of their boat. There’s grunting and groaning, possibly a long night of drinking and bickering, followed by an early morning spat about Dominique’s need to go ashore. But that’s not what they set out to do just yet, as Terrence has a plan that he’s sticking to, but the breaks in the relationship are starting to form. Followed by flashbacks, we see moments of conversation between Terrence and his bitter father- played by Ed Harris- discussing that he thinks this idea is crazy and revealing to the audience that he’s quite a bigot as well. The other voices of reason are for Terrence’s Wall Street working younger brother (Riley Smith) and Dominique’s sister Martina (Martina Gusman) giving advice from Spain. Everyone involved is a voice or an ear to add discourse into a risky marriage.
From an artistic measure, Get Away If You Can is impressive, showing ingenuity and the independent film spirit. Sadly it does not amount to a film I can recommend. The performances from Martin and Braun are on opposite sides, where Braun shows promise and beauty, while Martin is over his head. The couple certainly knows how to argue with one another, but the dialogue is stiff, as the narrative leaves the audience standing around to watch. It’s listed that the couple wrote the screenplay, which works when Harris is delivering his lines, as the veteran actor makes the best of his situation, while the two leads improvise too much. I would make the argument that two true actors should have been cast to play these roles, that could give distanced, and more nuanced performances.
The technical side is a positive, where the cinematography becomes the major highlight, both inside the difficult spaces of inside the cabin, and outside landscapes. The second act is where the couple docks close to an island, not the original destination, and while Terrence sleeps, it is when Dominique makes her escape to shore. In between Dominique trying to survive on the land we see flashbacks of arguments, more conversations with Ed Harris, the search for the couple to rekindle their fractured love. It seems promising, giving a sense that the narrative will veer in one direction, only for the couple to find one another again for more bickering.
As for the final product Get Away If You Can is not a massive failure, but just missing the marks in many ways, needing the ego removed from the story. The performance from Ed Harris is strong, making me wish he had a one-man show, and there is a genuine artistic stripe to Braun and Martin that should continue. The sad part is that the ending leaves us frustrated as we did in the first act. There’s still promise though and this directing team should continue to make their art…If they can.
GET AWAY IF YOU CAN IS CURRENTLY PLAYING IN SELECT THEATERS AND AVAILABLE TO RENT ON ALL DIGITAL PLATFORMS.
Written by: Leo Brady