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Only (2019)

When a comet plummets to earth and releases an unknown virus that claims the lives of Only women, a young couple must fight for their lives. They lock themselves up in their apartment and plan to self-quarantine. The world, however, is not a kind place, as many people hunt the women who have survived to earn a significant financial reward promised by the government. When they are forced one day to go on the run Eva (Freida Pinto) and Will (Leslie Odom Jr.) must fight for their lives and trust one another more than ever. This post-apocalyptic world will not be kind to the couple and their tenacity will be tested; do they have what it takes to survive the sordid world?

Only feels like a bad dream. It feels like what is taking place in the world right now, and the terrifying nature of what writer-director Takashi Doscher is able to create is amplified tenfold. Timing can be important to the overall success of a film, television show, etc. and Doscher (along with the rest of the team at Tadmor) chose what can only be described as the perfect time for this release. The comparisons between the real world and what takes place in Only are uncanny, eerie and unrelenting. The ability to have viewers make connections between the real world and the film is sadly the most entertaining aspect of the entire production. Its story is wonderfully relatable at this moment in time, but nearly every other facet of Only fails to thoroughly entertain.

To be honest, the thing I was most excited for before watching Only was to see Chandler Riggs (Casey) return to the spotlight after his abrupt departure from AMC’s The Walking Dead. There were rumors that his role in this film would be substantial and that is ultimately what sparked my interest in the film. However, Riggs' role is quite small, with very little dialogue and even less bearing on the outcome of the film. He has no chance to develop as a character or influence Only in any way. Worst of all, his performance is the most disappointing of the film.

Both Odom Jr. and Pinto fail to engage viewers and give them any reason to feel emotionally attached. Their performances from beginning to end feel bland and emotionless, leaving viewers feeling the same way about Only. Their chemistry is lacking, and their inability to connect with viewers makes the film drag and feel more like a chore than it does entertainment. I found myself easily distracted from the mundane performances and less than appealing, passionless roles of the two leads. With the two protagonists unable to reach viewers, Only fails and leaves viewers confused as to what the film has to offer.

Only has potential. It has been given the chance, due to the state of the world right now, to succeed and find relevance among audiences around the world. The timing of the release is impeccable and could not have been better planned. With everything that Only has going for it, however, ten times as many things go wrong. The unconvincing acting and the dragging story do nothing but bore audiences and drive the potential success of the film into the ground. It’s hard to pinpoint any potential in Pinto, but Odom Jr. clearly possesses talent (as is apparent in the smash Broadway hit Hamilton) making his dismal performance that much more frustrating. The premise of the film is drawing, but the content and the acting leave entirely too much to be desired.

Written & Directed by Takashi Doscher. Starring Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr., Chandler Riggs, Jayson Warner Smith, Tia Hendricks, etc.




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