Walter

It’s tough being the son of God. There are lots of decisions to be made like who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell. Walter is this person and the responsibility can be quite stressful. The offbeat independent dramedy Walter follows the titular character as he not only judges those on Earth but tries to survive the trappings of young adulthood. It is a funny film with some rather serious themes but the tone, for the most part, is pretty light. Not all audiences will appreciate the humor and certain scenes might detract but this is a really sweet movie that will hopefully garner a cult following in the near future.

An extension of the short film of the same name, Walter is a strange tale that focuses on the life and times of young man frustrated with his current station. Walter (Andrew J. West) is a ticket-taker at a local movie theater. His single mom (Virginia Madsen) seems to be going through a midlife crisis and has an unhealthy obsession with eggs. Walter’s routine is like clockwork, waking and going to work every day. This lifestyle suits him and makes his job easier when deciding the fates of everyone he sees. Aside from being the son of God, Walter is a shy individual with a huge crush on the girl in concessions, Kendall (Leven Rambin). In addition to this, Walter is visited by the ghost of Greg (Justin Kirk), a man who is in purgatory and desperately wants to know if he’s going to the pearly white gates or to the fiery pit of darkness.

Walter is a charming and unique story that will definitely keep you entertained during its 94-minute. The script, penned by Paul Shoulberg, is fresh and original and gives all of the actors plenty of opportunities to shine. Andrew J. West (Nightmare CodeBipolar) anchors this film very well. He has a firm grasp and is perfect in the lead. Justin Kirk also stands out as an annoying ghost. Supporting roles from Milo Ventimiglia, Neve Campbell, Jim Gaffigan and William H. Macy all add a touch of class to the proceedings and with such an impressive cast, audiences should take note and give this small film a try.

Quirky indies are all the rage these days. A low budget and an interesting story are really all you need. The stars in Walter know this all too well and while the budget may be low, the quality of the film is very high. Few films manage to both instill laughter and evoke sadness. Walter achieves this balance exquisitely and it is a film that will certainly resonate with audiences. The humor is fantastic and so is the acting. It is refreshing to know that strong comedies still exist and while Walter may not achieve blockbuster status, it will probably live on with Netflix Instant and home video. If more films follow in the same vein as Walter, then I think the future of independent dramedies is a safe one.

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