Trigger -- Film Review



TORONTO -- Talk is cheap in "Trigger," a low-budget Canadian feature that wallows in nonstop dialogue at the expense of character and narrative.

Director Bruce McDonald claims Louis Malle's famous talkathon, "My Dinner With Andre," as his inspiration, but "Trigger" is more akin to Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise"/"Before Sunset" movies, where two people engage in chatty strolls and meals for an entire movie.

Either comparison flatters this film unduly as McDonald and writer Daniel Maclvor do nothing to make anything that's said during a night-into-morning meander around Toronto the least bit compelling.

"Trigger" has no hope for commercial exposure outside Canada; only the most indulgent festival programmers will book this film.

Molly Parker and Tracy Wright play two female rockers who meet for dinner a decade after their act imploded onstage in a fight fueled by drugs and booze. Resentments still simmer close to the surface in Wright's Vic, but Parker's Kat wants to made amends. For one thing, there's a benefit concert honoring Canadian women in rock later that night; for another, she wants to resume their friendship.

They spat as much as they chat as the two dine atop the TD Center, make their way to a Queens Street club, break into and tussle on a theater stage, go to a suburban afterparty, then finish at dawn back downtown on a park bench. Little of what they say matters even to them and certainly not to an audience that remains uninvested in their lives and former friendship.

More successful than this meandering and self-pitying deconstruction of an lapsed friendship is the film's portrayal of the tough daily struggle of recovering addicts. With Vic it's drugs, and for Kat it's alcohol, but either way the constant temptation to get loaded never disappears.

There's also a hint-- more a perfumey whiff really -- of homoeroticism in their relationship, but it vanishes quickly.

Technical credit are perfunctory at best as mostly low light levels make this one a bit of an eyesore.

Venue: Toronto International Film Festival
Production companies: Entertainment One in association with TeleFilm Canada presents a New Real Films, Shadow Shows, United Orange production
Cast: Molly Parker, Tracy Wright, Don McKellar, Daniel Maclvor
Director: Bruce McDonald
Screenwriter: Daniel Maclvor
Producers: Jennifer Jones, Leonard Farlinger
Executive producers: Dany, Chiasson, Callum Keith Rennie, Hugh Dillon, Bryanm Gliseman
Director of photography: Jonathon Cliff
Production designer: Rob Gray
Music: Brendan Canning
Costume designer: Sarah Millman
Editor: Matthew Hannam
No rating, 79 minutes