SIFF 2019: "The Death of Dick Long" Review
“You motherfuckers wanna get weird?” It’s the line in the opening scene that kicks off a night of boys-being-boys shenanigans between three close friends and band members. What audiences learn later about the events of that night is disturbing, but how the film frames the unraveling of the main characters’ secrets is absolutely brilliant.
The Death of Dick Long is a dark comedy about two guys attempting to cover up the death of their friend following that night of boys-being-boys shenanigans. The effort, though, is rushed and sloppy, leading to the inevitable reveal of what really happened to Dick Long.
This story takes place in Alabama where director Daniel Scheinert is from, and the film takes painstaking steps to authentically portray the southern lifestyle while accurately poking fun at the quirks of the region.
And the cast is spot on. Michael Abbott Jr, playing lead character Zeke, does a great job channeling the anxiety and angst involved in his character’s plight. But the most compelling part of The Death of Dick Long for me was Virginia Newcomb playing Zeke’s wife, Lydia. It’s her character and performance that hits home the gravity of the situation when the truth is exposed.
What The Death of Dick Long does so well is accurately portray the psychological mindset when something shameful comes to public attention. So when someone asks you if you wanna get weird, it’ll be much easier for your immediate response to likely be an emphatic “no”.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 2 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 2 | Reviewer's Preference - 2 | What does this mean?