Set entirely within the confines of an Uber driver’s car, Thomas Torrey’s Fare is a heartfelt and suspenseful film that is much more human that it appears. When Eric (Torrey) picks up Patrick (J.R. Adduci) to give him a ride on evening, the two begin conversing about relationships. As the conversation grows more and more personal, they discover that they’re far more connected than they initially thought. Then things quickly begin to spiral out of control.
In turn, Fare is a movie with a seemingly endless amount of layers and surprises. Despite running just under seventy-five minutes, Torrey manages to pack in a lot of impactful moments. Just when it appears as though the film has settled into one particularly tone, it takes a harsh turn into new territory. Each act of Fare isn’t just different tonally, it almost completely changes genres three times throughout; from drama to thriller to horror, by the end.
Set in Charlotte, North Carolina, and on the outskirts of the Queen City, the film encompasses the vibe of the area surprisingly well, given the fact that the camera never leaves Eric’s car. Through the windows and exterior shots, the city lights and downtown aesthetic helps the film achieve a certain vibe early on. Similarly, the backroads and wooded area of the North/South Carolina border provide an ominous and dangerous feeling during the film’s final act. For such a confined movie, the settings are kind of remarkable and important.
At its core, Fare is a film about relationships and communication, and Torrey approaches the subject matter with a scathing honesty that can be difficult to accept at times. In a genre that often deals with black and white issues, the problems addressed throughout are much more complicated than that. Eric’s strained relationship with his wife Audrey (Katherine Drew) is heartbreaking and all too real at times. It’s emotional in a way that it comes dangerously close to slipping into melodramatic territory, but thanks to the film’s unique tone—and an honest chemistry between Torrey and Drew—it’s moving in all the right ways.
A fascinating little movie that doesn’t waste a second on any bells or whistles, Fare begins, does its job, and then ends without a single unnecessary beat. It can’t be stated enough that in the era when two-hour features are on the shorter end of the spectrum, it’s a real treat when films come along that are under eighty minutes. There’s no need for Fare to be any longer than it is, and it’s a remarkable film where it stands. Despite its familiar plot, it’s unlike anything you’ve seen lately, and it’s definitely a movie worth seeking out on the festival circuit.
Fare is set to premiere at the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival on April 26th.