Blow the Man Down

 

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There’s murder and mayhem in Maine in this serio-comic whale of a tale.

 

Blow the Man Down

Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe

 

Something is fishy in the coastal town of Easter Cove. After the death of a matriarch disrupts the town hierarchy, old alliances begin to dissolve. The deceased Mary Margaret Connolly leaves behind two daughters, who find themselves saddled with unexpected debt and a dire dilemma. With Mary Margaret gone, the town’s hearty fishwives (June Squibb, Annette O’Toole, Marceline Hugot) unite to dethrone a common enemy, the brothel madam Enid Nora Devlin (a magnificent Margo Martindale).

 

An all-male chorus singing sea shanties accentuates and elevates the fairly straightforward tale, adding a musical, mythical quality that sets the tone for this New England neo-noir. Writer/director duo Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole blend the perfect cocktail of bourbon, brine and blood. Recalling the Cohen brothers’ 1996 masterpiece Fargo, black comedy abounds as the picturesque layers of the quaint port are peeled back. Although perhaps not as revelatory, the foggy fishing locale and barnacled underbelly of the town hook like a harpoon. The film feels at times like the opening chapter of a larger narrative and succeeds in setting a serio-comic tone that fuses well with noir. Indie queen Margo Martindale is a consistently underrated tour de force and she does not disappoint here in a truly salty role. Will Brittain continues a track record of solid performances, grounding the film as the intelligent Officer Justin Brennan.

 

After premiering at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Amazon Studios wisely acquired the distribution rights and recently brought the title to their Prime Video streaming platform. It’s a whale of a tale that’s well worth a watch. 

 

CHAD KENNERK

 

Cast: Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe, Annette O'Toole, Marceline Hugot, Gayle Rankin, Will Brittain, Skipp Sudduth, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, June Squibb, Margo Martindale, Owen Burke.

 

Dir Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, Pro Alex Scharfman, Drew Houpt, Tim Headington and Lia Buman, Screenplay Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, Ph Todd Banhazl, Pro Des Jasmine Ballou Jones, Ed Marc Vives, Music Brian McOmber and Jordan Dykstra, Costumes Brooke Bennett.

 

Secret Engine/Tango Entertainment-Amazon Media

91 mins. USA. 2019. Rel: 20 March 2020. Available on Amazon Prime. Cert. 15.