The magic behind making films is you can tell any story you want and on top of that in any fashion you wish. There are no rules and with that we can even experience multiple stories at once. Films such as Dazed and Confused, Go, 200 Cigarettes, Can’t Hardly Wait and Smokin’ Aces all follow multiple characters in the course of a day or night until their stories eventually converge. The same format is adopted by director Mike Cuenca in his film I’ll Be Around which he also co-wrote along with Dan Rojay that follows a slew of characters during a Punk Rock Festival.
It is quite the undertaking for Cuenca to flow through multiple storylines with so many individuals and although there are fun moments it is not enough to carry the whole film running in at just over the two hour mark. I believe it was due to an over ambition on Cuenca’s part as he tried to spin too many plates at once. The result, a crowded film with too many people to keep track of and form any real attachment to. There were characters that had slivers of a budding story such as the young “nerdy” musician trying to earn respect, the “over the hill” musician not sure of her future and the down/out roadie looking to make his own strides. Instead of putting time in these characters and establishing their stories we instead get a myriad of useless characters and go nowhere plots.
The film does have its comedic scenes reminiscent of Clerks with quirky side characters/cutaways but with so much happening, it was too easy to lose track of what was going on. The film ends with loose tie in narrations that would have been better served with a tighter script and a shorter run time. Cuenca shows promise as a director with glimpses of sweet, memorable characters and with the message of capturing your moment although not fully realized, it is in itself an idea that I believe many of us can relate to.
1.5 out of 5
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