Movie Review: Broken Hearted
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2h 2min Unrated
Director: Joseph Ammendolea
by Jason Koenigsberg
Three is the charm for Long Island’s Joseph Ammendolea. His third feature is no doubt his best film so far. It opens up with shots of New York City’s skyline with gray skies illustrating that this may not be a happy go lucky romantic story. The opening credits are set to an emo rock song that coincides with the scenes that establish the setting, characters, and actors who play them. The actors are slightly wooden, especially the male ones. It is as if Joe Ammendolea has intuition on how women speak or he has a better knack for writing dialogue with women that feels more natural. Irene Jean Santos as the female lead gives a performance that is noteworthy and will make a lasting impression.
The rock soundtrack continues throughout the entire film and it is distracting in some scenes, complimentary in others. The sets are very plain early on. A missed opportunity to set up background on the characters instead of looking at a lot of solid colored walls. Mr. Ammendolea still has yet to master audio and a professional sound designer would have been a beneficial investment. The dialogue in his outdoor scenes sounds different than his interior scenes in public places which sound different than his interior scenes in private residences.
Technical problems aside Brokenhearted is filled with a lot of warmth and heart that the viewer gets caught up in the story and care about these characters, especially the female lead and which of these male suitors she should end up with. It felt like a longer version of an episode of ‘Blind Date’ or one of those dating shows and you want to see how it ends and who the contestant chooses. Once she settles on who she wants to be with the back and forth gets a little repetitive dealing with her ex and typical male jealousy. The third act goes on too long when it seems the inevitable is going to happen and could have been shorter. However, by then it is easy to get so caught up with the characters and their relationship that it is possible to forgive Brokenhearted for its flaws. This is a great example of a filmmaker showing growth yet still staying true to his inspirations. Hopefully, his next film is even better.