Facing life in prison, a hood dreams of the violent streets that forged his identity, but cursed his soul.
TRAP, the debut film from Anthony Edward Curry, stands for The Real Ashbury Park, draws on the lives of kids Curry grew up with, to create an impressionistic liquid narrative that becomes a deconstruction of gritty crime genre fare- a mashup of the styles of Godard, Lynch, and Dennis Hopper in his Easy Rider phase.
TRAP in many ways is caught between two inner demons that Curry needs to exorcise: the confession of a once best friend that he murdered another best friend of his and Curry’s need to make a story of that without giving the murderer full or any credit. TRAP is the compromise: a confession piece about a coming to criminality for a person facing an eternal life behind bars.
It’s greatest strength- that it feels totally lived in, is muted by its greatest weakness- a time jumping structure that encapsulates various styles and points of views to present a portrait of one person.
TRAP ultimately becomes hard to follow with too many stories, characters and povs trying to point to one truth. There is no central focus because it’s too busy keeping everyone and everything in focus but in their own reality bubble.
The main character gets lost, along with motivations, and the audience’s chance to know him deeply. TRAP needs to slow down but can’t. It can only live in its drug induced hallucinations and ADD. It’s a key example of a style choice becoming a flaw.
TRAP gets a 3.5 out of 5 or a B+.
TRAP is part of the 10th annual Chattanooga Film Festival playing online and IRL through June 29th.