“A Killer Conversation”
I have had the pleasure of seeing “A Killer Conversation” before its official release and want to share some of what I saw and felt. This is a story that had to be dreamt up but the way it is handled is just pure fun. Here is the premise, “On the same day a burglar wants to kill you and your ex wants to make up – and for the life of it, you can’t decide which is worse.” From this point on, get ready for quite a cinematic adventure where the only losers are those who do not see this film.
Karl (Ryan Hunter) has unknowingly invited a burglar (Rudy Barrow), who is armed, into his home and before he realizes it, he is tied up and understands that eternal rest might be awaiting him. Yet, he is aware of one option, Pauline (Melanie Denholme), his ex who has just happened by to try to redeem their relationship. For Karl, this is not a way he wants to go; Pauline is a snob and insincere and really not the kind of person to lend a helping hand but….there is an armed burglar in his house. If making up with Pauline keeps him alive, it is a risk he just might have to take.
In case you have not guessed, this is a comedy about a break-in and a hostage situation. Michael Haberfelner wrote the screenplay about a situation, which by and large would terrify the average person, but he reduces it to dark comedy and it is very, very funny. Together with director David V.G. Davis the two give us a film that is full of imagination and has a lot of heart. It all starts simply enough when Karl answers the door and then discovers that nothing will ever be the same again. We watch as Karl and his burglar verbally go at each other until the entrance of Pauline when everything changes. Pauline brings unintended humor with her and we can almost hear Karl say to the burglar that he would probably be better off dead than having to deal with her. When she enters the picture, she does not know what is going on and immediately starts with her bitchiness and her gripes. Even after she sees that he has a gun, she still continues going at it and really gives a good hint of what this movie is all about. But then we realize also that the film is made up of many layers and as we watch we understand more and more. The parlay of words going back and forth really seem to have no destination as so often happens when exes exchange words. This is a movie with a lot of dialogue that does have to be necessarily understood as long as we are aware that it is there. Because of that, there are surprises. One surprise I discovered while looking up some information about the film is that everyone connected with it has come from the genre of horror movies. While not important necessarily to this film, it is an interesting fact.
Personally, I love the droll beginning to the film. I just found it impossible to imagine a scenario like this but it works here. Karl after opening his door to an armed burglar and soon finds himself not only tied to a chair but he watches the burglar eat his pre-cooked microwave dinner for one. The burglar is so polite that he even brings his own napkin and offers to share the food that could be Karl’s last meal. At the same time, Karl is deep in thought about how to keep the burglar busy. Then Pauline arrives.
The fact that Pauline is there could have been a way to keep Karl alive but when we see Pauline for the arrogant and selfish person that she is, we realize that perhaps Karl’s fate with the burglar is a step up. I must say that I had quite a hard time trying to imagine Karl and Pauline as a couple but I would have had the same feeling about Pauline and anyone. Even more interesting is that the burglar sits there as the two of them discuss their past relationship.
The movie is propelled by its characters and as I said, there are surprises. I tried not to give anything away and I really want everyone to give this film a shot. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.