In a coincidence of sorts, the indie movie Collaborator, about a playwright caught up in his own personal drama actually plays out very much like a play itself, with a keen focus on dialogue helping to ramp up the tension. The lighting in the final, violent scene even comes off like a stage show and you are almost waiting to hear the audience gasp.
The small, but very compelling pic is the first effort by actor Martin Donovan (The Opposite of Sex and “Weeds”) as a writer and director. Donovan plays Robert Longfellow, a once promising playwright whose latest effort is being savaged by critics. He goes home to visit his mother where he runs into his childhood neighbor Gus, a going-nowhere loser who ends up taking Robert hostage.
Donovan does an excellent job as the reserved Robert, but its David Morse, playing Gus, who dominates the movie with subtle eeriness. Collaborator is a great film that deserved a much wider audience. Hopefully it will find one now that it is out on DVD.
Collaborator DVD Review /1 DVD/72 Min./Entertainment One/2013