From D.C. Hamilton, whose specs include shows like Friday Night Lights, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and his directorial debut The Midnight Man, comes his sophomore feature, The Fare, which is available on Blu-ray as well as Digital HD on Tuesday, November 19th via Epic Pictures.
In this Hitchcockian romance, Harris (Gino Anthony Pesi: Shades of Blue series, 42 2013), a weary cab driver, picks up a charming young woman named Penny (Brinna Kelly: The Midnight Man 2016), and from there the night begins to spiral as she soon disappears from his backseat. Stuck in a seemingly endless loop as the ride begins over and over again, Harris realizes something is very wrong. What starts out as a simple night on the job quickly turns into dark and tragic romance between Harris and Penny.
The film starts out in black & white, which at first seems to add a sense of a noir-esque aesthetic; an odd creative choice that provides a vintage overlay to what appears to be a budding romance between Harris and Penny. That is, until you progress further into the story and suddenly you’re met with flashes of color. With every trip, Harris is hit with glimpses of previous trips. Suddenly, it does not seem like a random occasion and Penny no longer appears to be just another fare. As we travel further, those glimpses of color represent moments of clarity for both Harris and the viewer as you both begin to pick up the pieces of his fragmented mind and the history between him and Penny.
Despite The Fare only having two protagonists, and the mysterious voice over the radio, there is enough development packed into 82 minutes to make the viewer care about what happens next. From the moment Penny first gets into the taxi, you are drawn to the chemistry between her and Harris. There is a certain magnetism between the two that makes their brief interactions enticing, and there’s a reason for that, as this is clearly not the first time she’s climbed into the back of his taxi. That familiarity between the two is a comfort every time the ride starts, which is why with every reset a piece of that comfort is ripped away along with Harris’.
Eventually, we delve deeper into their background and it is revealed that they have known each other long before they were stuck in this never-ending nightmare. As the night goes on, ride after ride, we find out more about our main characters. Their conversations bring us to Harris’ life before this loop, revealing his true relationship with Penny.
We find that the thing in their past that links them together is the cause to their reoccurring suffering. Without giving away too much, the history between Penny and Harris goes way beyond a random pick up on a darkened road to nowhere. As the story unravels, we fall further down the rabbit hole and discover the truth, and from there we find if there’s an end to their trauma.
The Fare is a mysterious and captivating romance that goes further than the arbitrary “boy meets girl” trope. It is a thrilling Sci-Fi tale that is crafted to take the reader through a dizzying whirlwind of emotions as you frantically try to work out what is happening at the same time as the protagonist.
Overall, The Fare is a romance tale for the new age, and for these reasons Cryptic Rock gives this film 4.5 out of 5 stars.