Cinema Review: Beneath the Harvest Sky | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, May 27th, 2024  

Beneath the Harvest Sky

Studio: Tribeca Film
Written and Directed by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly

May 12, 2014 Web Exclusive
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Casper (Emory Cohen) and Dominic (Callan McAuliffe) are best friends in a small farming town along the border between Canada and Maine. Since they were children it has been their dream to leave their depressed town together and move to Boston; they just have to make it through their senior year of high school, and the world will be theirs. Though their paths differ – Dominic works at the local potato farm, while Casper helps his dad smuggle drugs in from Canada – their friendship remains the only true thing in their lives as they navigate school, dysfunctional family situations, and troubled early loves.

Beneath the Harvest Sky calls to mind small town America coming of age stories of the Stand By Me and Friday Night Lights variety, and that’s no small compliment. Writer-directors Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly infuse their story with humor, heartbreak, and the hormone-driven headaches of high school with aplomb and subtlety. Though an unassuming, destitute existence in a potato farming town might not be universal to all viewers, the treatment of high school will ring much more recognizable. Cohen and McAuliffe do commendable work bringing Casper and Dominic to life, showcasing their (growing) differences, while perfectly portraying the bond that cements the friends together. Further, while a side story about a drug-smuggling operation could well push the story into the realm of the complicated and unrelatable, Gaudet and Pullapilly manage to avoid either. What they render is a simple story about the pitfalls of a modern America increasingly distanced from the blue-collar communities the country is disinclined to admit it still needs. Casper and Dominic are modern everymen – theirs are not at all unique experiences, which is why their story resounds so loudly.

Author rating: 7/10

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