A movie starting with a voice over saying “I wanted to tell you about the night I decided to kill myself.” is either going to be a heavy drama or a comedic farce. POTENTIAL INERTIA isn’t a comedy. Writer/director Matt Croyle has crafted a nice lookinglooking black and white film that unfortunately has a few issues in its story. Issues that keep it from being what it should have been.
Declan Holmes (Matthew King) is an aspiring screenwriter with lots of potential. However he can’t seem to pull it all together and finish the project he’s been given to write. His writer’s block is aggravated by the train wreck his personal life has become. He can’t get over his breakup with ex-fiance Katie (Brooke Bartolomeo), His terminally ill father has no faith in him and he’s nervous about graduating from college and entering the real world.
These are situations we can all identify with, many of us to more than one of them. We should be able to relate to Delcan and his issues, but too often the plot lost me. More than once POTENTIAL INERTIA gets too overwrought, and slips into melodramatics. It doesn’t help that the main character feels weak. These are issues so many people go through, but he can’t cope. It makes it very hard to identify with or feel for him.
The acting is good overall, which is important as this is a very talky film. There’s lots of dialogue and in untalented hands it would have been unbearable to sit through. Even with the solid performances POTENTIAL INERTIA would have done better with less dialogue. If it had told less and shown more it would have been better off.
With a bit more focus and a stronger lead character POTENTIAL INERTIA could have been a compelling drama. The script Delcan is struggling with is for a film his college will present at a festival. And that’s what this feels like, a student film. Sincere, well done technically, but lacking finesse and polish.
POTENTIAL INERTIA is available on various streaming platforms. You can find out more on its Facebook Page.