Pras on WorldFilms: NIGHT OWLS

The story follows Kevin (Adam Pally) and Madeline (Rosa Salazar), two misguided souls helplessly bound together by a string of circumstances that only make sense as time unfolds.

The film introduces protagonists Madeline and Kevin as they stumble back to Madeline’s place after meeting at a banquet. She’s a bartender by trade, viper-eyed and lubricious; he’s a goofy, good-natured bumbler all too willing to ignore this scenario’s many red flags. For one, her expansive home and vintage wine collection appear several tax brackets removed from what anyone on a bartender’s salary could afford, and she seems almost feral in her haste to ignore his get-to-know-you small talk and get down to business.

Night Owls 1When he awakens shortly after consummating this hurried love affair, Kevin makes several unpleasant discoveries. He discovers that the fancy house that was their trysting place isn’t Madeline’s. It belongs to her married ex-boyfriend, Will (Peter Krause), the town’s sanctified college football coach, who’s out of town preparing for a big game and who is also Kevin’s boss and idol.Next, worse still, Kevin finds Madeline unconscious on the bathroom floor and barely breathing having downed a whole bottle of Xanax while he was sleeping.. The camera observes them in the bathroom, where discovering an empty bottle of Xanax, Kevin shakes her awake, makes emergency phone calls and is advised to induce vomiting and keep her awake.

Before long, however,“Night Owls” softens and loses its edge once Madeline begins to sober up, the pair resolve to make the most of the situation, and the pic downshifts into an increasingly earnest slice-of-life. At which point she and Kevin share their stories (she is a bartender) and enjoy a moment of tenderness. The movie touches on corrupt sports management. It turns out that the sainted Will, who shows up at the very end of the movie, isn’t as heroic as Kevin had believed.

Night Owls 2Rosa Salazar and Adam Pally attack their roles with gleeful ferocity, and turn a simple script into an engaging film through superb execution. The real fun is watching the mystery unfold minute by minute.

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