Canadian Film Fest Comedy

Canadian Film Fest Review: ‘Red Rover’

March 19, 2019Ferdosa Abdi

Director Shane Belcourt's Red Rover is a touching and quirky indie about a man's search for one of life's most elusive treasures — and it may involve a one-way trip to Mars.

Damon (Kristian Bruun) is your average sad man. He finds little to no appreciation at work. He has a god-awful living situation. He is unlucky with his relationships. And he spends his free time at the beach searching for buried treasure with a metal detector, an act that has sort of become synonymous in cinema with being a loser. One day, however, Damon — who may or may not be named after after Matt Damon, who played an astronaut who gets trapped on Mars in The Martian — encounters a strange woman named Phoebe (Cara Gee), who is dressed as an astronaut and offers him a flyer for a one-way trip to the red planet. As life begins to unravel for Damon, he finds solace in Phoebe's company and begins to find himself as he trains to be one of the few to live on Mars.

An indie that follows a personal drama, Red Rover's sci-fi elements are reminiscent of Safety Not Guaranteed, which used time-travel as a means to explore the main character's personal issues. And like that film, Red Rover is very well-made and anchored by a funny and thoughtful script. After all, Damon may be ready to embark on a 33.9-million-mile journey to find happiness, but all he needs to do is get his head out the stars and look at what's right in front of him. It's a lesson that all viewers should take away from this movie.

Red Rover screens Tuesday, March 19th at the Canadian Film Fest. Its runtime is 1 hr. 40 min.

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