'Cost of a Soul' Shockya Movie Review Written By: Karen Benardello
Director: Sean Kirkpatrick
Starring: Chris Kerson (‘Henry’s Crime), Will Blagrove (‘How Do You Know’), Judy Jerome (‘Bedwetter’), Gregg Almquist (TV’s ‘The Practice’)
Social commentary isn’t usually the first thing movie audiences think of when they watch films to be entertained. However, first time screenwriter/director Sean Kirkpatrick instantly grabs hold of the viewers of his full-length feature debut, ‘Cost of a Soul,’ by breaking the stereotype that dramatic interpretations of real-life issues can’t be captivating. His brave determination to show that continued violence hinders the growth of a community continuously shines through in the crime drama.
‘Cost of a Soul’ follows two wounded soldiers, Tommy Donahue (played by Chris Kerson) and DD Davis (portrayed by Will Blagrove), as they return home from active duty in Iraq to the slum neighborhood they grew up in. Both Tommy and DD seem proud of their accomplishments in the military, but are ashamed of the neighborhood they returned to. The two struggle to redeem themselves and improve their lives, but in the process, their families become involved in crime, violence and corruption.
Tommy returns home to his wife Faith (played by Judy Jerome) and disabled six-year-old daughter, Hope (portrayed by Maddie M. Jones). Faith is upset with Tommy for running off to the military when she was pregnant and leaving her without any health insurance. Tommy becomes distraught that Faith accepted money from the neighborhood crime boss, Charlie ‘Bernie’ Burns (played by Gregg Almquist), while he was in Iraq because she was desperate for help to take care of Hope. Bernie now has Tommy in his debt, and orders him to threaten and kill on his behalf.
Meanwhile, DD is struggling to find a job and make an honest living, and is disappointed that his older brother Darnell (portrayed by Nakia Dillard) has become the neighborhood drug lord. DD is determined to keep Darnell away from their younger brother James (played by Daveed Ramsay), so he doesn’t follow down the same path.
Kirkpatrick ambitiously wanted to tell the stories of the people of his hometown of North Philadelphia, one of America’s toughest and most violent neighborhoods. While filming ‘Cost of a Soul,’ Rogue, the studio that is releasing the movie, believed it would be impossible to complete it on its small budget and short 18-day shooting schedule. But Kirkpatrick proved what a resilient, creative filmmaker he is by pushing forward. His determination to show the anxiety wounded soldiers face when they return home from war brilliantly shines through in the movie’s plot-line and characters.
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