The Tree [2017] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Dorothy Thorp is an 88-year-old widow who is tired of just existing in her home and waiting to die while the doctors slowly prescribe more pills for her.  Thus, she decides it’s time for her to take a road trip back to her hometown to make peace with her past.  Though her worried neighbors and daughter try to deter her, Doroth stubbornly decides to go ahead with the trip.  She knows God is with her no matter what and she is surprised about the people she is able to meet along the way.

 

Production Quality (2.5 points)

It’s clear from beginning to end that the Pruitts and their team are committed to high quality production.  Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all what they should be.  The soundtrack is also appropriate and intriguing.  Sets, locations, and props are also well-constructed and used.  The only issue to raise here, as is common in independent films, pertains to some small editing concerns due to some lagging scenes.  However, regardless of this, The Tree has a very respectable production that shows great promise for the future.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

Since this story is based on true events, it is obvious that care was taken to make these characters realistic and believable.  Though things start off a bit slow, time is taken to establish things without the use of narration, so this is a plus.  Similarly, there is not much dialogue throughout, but the small amount therein is quite good and shows that effort has been put into it.  However, there are a few too many asides that go under-developed, and the story overall needs more scope and deepening.  Yet this is a great start and demonstrates an ability to connect with the lives of real people and to depict this on screen.

Acting Quality (3 points)

Though this is an ‘amateur’ cast, there are virtually no errors present here, which speaks to good acting coaching.  There are no flaws to point out as emotions are all believable and authentic.  Line delivery is on point as less is more.  Overall, this rounds out a job well done.

Conclusion

The Pruitts and their team have already set themselves apart in the indie landscape by being committed to quality and by doing the best they can with what they have.  These are the types of film makers that should and can receive better funding when the time is right.  When that time comes, it will be exciting to see what they can do, because being able to depict real-life people properly in a film is very difficult yet worthwhile to do.

 

Final Rating: 6.5 out of 10 points