Good independent movie,
This review is from: Quality Of Life  [DVD] (DVD)
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This isn't a film about graffiti, it's a film about life and boredom and how having an interest can get misinterpreted as a "passion". When someone stands in the way of that "passion" (usually in films like this, the law, or parents, or society, or grown-ups in general) then something has to give.
In that sense this film ticks all the boxes and you can imagine the writer following the screenplay formula: what's your character's flaw? What do they stand to lose? What crisis affects them at the end of act 1? How do things get even more complicated? What are the consequences of their actions? Tick, tick, tick.
Now there's nothing wrong with that per se - all films, novels and plays use similar structures. But there's a sense here of a first attempt, that the structure is guiding the drama, rather than the drama guiding the characters.
It's well-acted and in the same way that The Shield shows an image of LA you don't get from other TV series and films, Quality of Life shows a side of San Francisco that is far removed from the touristy images you get elsewhere. (In fact it's a relief to see a film set in SF that doesn't have some monster, super villain or natural disaster trashing the Golden Gate Bridge, so kudos for that alone!
It's "gritty", so don't settle down for a relaxing evening with it. It's not uplifting, in fact I ended up feeling pretty low at the end - so have something else on hand to cheer you up afterwards!