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‘Downeast’ review: There’s no place like home

Blow the man down.

Downeast is a crime thriller set in a Maine fishing village that seems to be the setting for many towns with dark secrets. The film is about a woman named Emma Maddox (Dylan Silver) who returns to her hometown. She is still tormented by the death of her brother from years ago. When she reconnects with his best friend Tommy (co-writer Greg Finley) she must make a difficult choice.

The setting has the quaint lived in feel that is vital to make it work. It can be refreshing to get away from the rush of the big cities where things can get too busy and overpower the story. Downeast is more patient and less obnoxious. The “little village that young people cannot wait to leave” motif is a little too generic, but it also fits.

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This is the best way to describe Downeast. There are moments that flow nicely and are easy to watch. The script benefits from its small town feel. Even though not every character gets meaty lines, they all belong in the movie’s world. Everything is just a little too familiar. Nothing – the plot included – will surprise the audience. The moral dilemmas and romantic complications happen just as would be expected. The resolution even comes at the nice breezy pace that Downeast has built. There is little sense of urgency in the story.

It seems that this is what the film is going for. Obviously, Downeast wants to entertain audiences with its story, but it is the details of the town and its people that matter most. The mystery and crime aspect are a way of introducing people into its well crafted world. It is rare to see a movie go all in on setting and personalities with this level of success.

Downeast comes to digital HD and cable VOD July 13

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