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“The Fare” is a gripping and truly moving film about how love and memory play into a person’s own personal hell; a must watch and one of the year’s best.

There’s something profoundly impactful in experiencing a very gripping film. As a viewer, you feel like your life was in some ways enriched by the story you just lived vicariously through. It’s even more of a special thing when you are caught off guard by a film by those very ingredients: the power of moving its audience — to make them think and to somehow make them feel better for witnessing something special.

D.C. Hamilton’s THE FARE is that type of film — one that keeps its viewer on the edge of their seat, while also leaving said viewer with a feeling of change.

Right from the get-go, you know you’re in for a real treat with THE FARE.

Revolving around a cab driver named Harris (Gino Anthony Pesi), the film shows how lonely and isolated one can feel during late night drives and doing things like listening to conspiracy radio to pass the time. Harris is a man without any ties. But that changes when he picks up his latest fare, Penny (Brinna Kelly, who also wrote the film), a beautiful woman looking for a ride to her destination.

We’re immediately drawn to not only Penny, but to the chemistry shared by the two. Their dialogue bounces back and forth without ever feeling forced, and it’s mind-blowingly easy to root for the pair not even 10 minutes into the film. Just as the duo are hitting it off, a lightning storm strikes. And in the blink of an eye, Penny is gone, a shock to both Harris and the film’s viewer.

What we’re then given is a TWILIGHT ZONE-like story, in which the experience of picking Penny up for her ride is played over and over again, with Harris resetting the trip, in hopes to solve why his sense of Deja-Vu is sticking around. The plot alone is one to latch onto, even on surface level.

But there is so much more to THE FARE that lies in looking deep within the film’s themes and statements.

What is memory, other than a fading glimpse of what once was? Are we defined by what has happened in our past? And are we destined to repeat those mistakes and actions? Or do we have the power to decide how we spend those moments, even as painful as they can truly be?

Those questions are front and center in THE FARE.

And it’s in not only the wonderful direction and design by Hamilton but also in the writing by Brinna Kelly that allows the film’s viewers to ask themselves those very questions. It’s great to feel entertained, and THE FARE does just that. It keeps its viewer on edge throughout the entire running time But it also digs deeper in what we think about life and love and loss — allowing you as a viewer to fill in those life questions as we witness a sweeping story playing out in front of us.

The chemistry between Kelly and Pesi is as impressive as it gets.

It’s so much fun to watch them fall for each other over and over again. But there’s a tragedy that comes with knowing that, no matter what they say or do, the inevitable loss is soon on its way.

It takes a lot to carry a film, and THE FARE, for the most part, features only two people throughout the film. Saying more about the number of people would potentially spoil the film’s later reveals. But you’re primarily watching two people, destined to be pulled apart by forces we’re not quite sure of until the film’s final reveal. And that throws a wrench into what you as a viewer expects from a film like this.

There’s such charm that lives within the film, and it’s impossible not to be enamored by the performances, the writing, and some of the most interesting cinematography this writer has seen in some time.

A film that will keep you guessing from start to finish, THE FARE is a rare treat — something completely original, special to witness, and dare I say, one of the best films of 2019. Do yourselves a favor and pick this one up ASAP. It’s worth a watch to say the least.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies)

THE FARE is now available on on Blu-Ray and VOD from Epic Pictures and DREAD.

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