By Joe Malan, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
Character, character, character.
Any film review you read today from any well-known critic will hammer that into the ground as being the cornerstone, the most important aspect, of filmmaking.
It’s something Waynoka native Josh Hope has accomplished rather well in his independent film, “Wild Blue.”
“Wild Blue” — which was filmed across the midwestern states of Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin and starts off in northwest Oklahoma — depicts a young man’s journey across the country to find out just exactly who he is after he exits the state of Oklahoma’s foster care system.
At the beginning of the film, we meet Blue (Devin Archer), an 18-or-thereabouts-year-old who is living his very first day outside Oklahoma’s foster care system. He’s been a ward of the state ever since he was born — his mother died at birth and his father is who-knows-where.
Blue, at the beginning of the film, seems content to just live a quiet, small-town life. He’s very soft spoken, he works a quiet job — grilling at a convenience store — and he mostly just likes to keep to himself and hang out with Fish, a small blue fish in a bowl that he’s kept ever since his last foster care home.
But everything changes when a young woman (Maya Boudreau) — a pretty good-looking one to boot — named Lola shows up at his convenience store, suggestively eating ice cream and asking for free things, like gas and a backpack and sunglasses.
He obliges — everything’s on the house, it seems — and as she leaves, Blue asks to go with her. She says yes.
Together, the two journey across the country, trying to get away from whatever it is they’re both trying to get away from. We don’t find out until much later in the film what both of them are ultimately seeking — and that’s fine; we don’t have to find out right now. It’s the manner in which we find out, and how everything slowly but surely ties together in the end, that’s important.
As mentioned earlier, character is key in any good film, and Archer and Boudreau both play their parts well. Archer is well established as a quiet young man coming into his own, and Boudreau’s Lola is a brash, no-nonsense type with nary a care in the world.
The old saying “opposites attract” certainly seems to ring true in this film, but there is one thing both characters having in common: They don’t seem to care about the consequences of their actions. And that, in part, is what makes this film enjoyable: The sense that you really can get out and explore who you are and truly become something, no matter where you started, no matter what kind of person you were before.
Indeed “Getting away from everything,” as Blue says is the reason behind his Oklahoma exodus in the film, is something this film seems to really get behind. It’s something bright and fresh that balances out the dark-comedy aspect behind the characters and the scenes that really makes “Wild Blue” stand out as a film that both those who are young and unsure of themselves and those with a sense of freedom and youth about themselves should see.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention both the scenery and the score, which both capture the darkness and quietness about the film, but in a good way.
Just a quick note: This isn’t a family film. There’s plenty of profanity and some suggestive dialogue, so if you’re sensitive to any of that sort of thing, be warned.
That said, it’s highly recommended that if you have a chance to see this film, see it. It’s a well-spent 100 minutes of your time.