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Fantasia 2019 Film Review: “1BR” (2019) ★★★★


Source: IMDB

Do we really need to be forced physically to be more selfless, caring, and accepting of any kind of people with different personalities, beliefs, and backgrounds? How about our neighbors who, mostly, we don’t even know their names? It’s true that we take for granted real communication and replace it with mobile devices. Let’s not forget, the phone is not the entire world we live in. There are places outside of it we must be in – neighborhood, parks, cinemas, social events we could attend, book readings, and family gatherings. As you may find me talking way too much about it, wait for “1BR”, which I am sure will provide you food for thought, on which you would undeniably spend hours thinking about.

Written and directed by David Marmor, “1BR” is an exceptionally intelligent psychological horror-thriller you didn’t even know you wanted to see. Our heroine named Sarah just moved to L.A. She is hopeful that at some point she may land her dream job in the Hollywood land as a costume designer. But before that happens, she needs to settle down. Her search for an apartment brings fruitful results when she selected to rent a one-bedroom apartment at Asilo Del Mar Apartments. But it does not take long for strange things to begin happening; first, it’s a pipe that makes noises at night and then the threatening letters she received from a mysterious neighbor who objects to Sarah having a pet. But all of that is just a minor problem in comparison to what awaits ahead for her which is full of nightmarish and inhumane experiences that she must collect herself enough to overcome.

Lester is her new neighbor, who straight to her face asks her to read a book called “The Power of Community: Sleeplessness in a Selfish World” written by Charles Ellerby. As we meet the leader of the community, Jerry (Taylor Nichols), or Brian (Giles Matthey) who’s an always caring neighbor, no matter how hard he tries there is something about him we find difficult to trust. But when the moment comes for Sarah’s strength to be tested, she realizes the apartment she lives in is a closed-door facility that exists on four principles – selflessness, acceptance, caring, and security.  And if there’s anyone who dares to disagree with the most important foundation of the society, they receive a bullet right to the head with no chance to object.

Overall, “1BR” is a surprisingly refreshing piece of film I wish the writer/director continues to explore in upcoming sequels if there are any. From start to end, the film exercises the excellence, persistence, and an incredible concept that establish one important fact – we must not be far from where we are. Having tables, TV, or the internet is a good thing but when we have someone standing in front of us, there’s no need to be reminded to say hello and ask how do you do. A normal casual existence of society is important for it not lose the sight of it. Of course, the method this film showcases is brutal but its lesson is what we should take and never forget. Because it does make sense, I hope, you will do agree with me on that after giving it a shot.

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