By Michelle Halloween
The water is crystal clear and there’s barely a cloud in the sky, so you think you’re in the clear to spend the day on a boat with your best friends, spreading your parent’s ashes in the ocean and then have a few beers while doing some fishing and reflecting on life with the people that are with you in that moment. That is until a storm comes out of nowhere and punches you in the face. Or was that you best friend’s fist?
Harpoon starts off defining what friendship is. You think you’re in for a film that forces a trio of friends to work out their issues together. Jonah’s parents just passed away tragically leaving him with no money and a Jonah questioning why all the bad things happen to him. In addition to his crappy parents, Jonah has put up with years of a codependent relationship with Richard, an entitled rich boy, who has fits of rage that often results in bloody fists and the broken noses of his targets. The referee between the two guys is Sasha, Richard’s long time girlfriend, who is also just as much of Jonah’s loyal friend as Richard claims to be. Sasha seems all too familiar with the routine fighting between the boys as you watch her diffuse the tensions with quick and snarky resolutions. Boys will be boys right?
So, it will come as no surprise that jealousy fuels Richard when he doesn’t feel he is getting his way or isn’t the center of attention. Jonah and Sasha take a serious gamble when Richard offers a day on the boat, that he bought for the trio with Daddy’s money, as a means to squash the beef between the group. It quickly becomes apparent Richard’s rage is not going to simmer down and nothing between the three friends is squashed in his perspective. Even deciding if a harpoon is the same thing as a speargun turns into a heated argument.
Even if you include the elements of the film such as the boat’s engine failure leaving the three drifting further into the ocean, starvation, and dangerous thirst nothing is as dangerous as the grudges the friends are holding with each other. Secrets get peeled back layer by bloody layer and you’ll find yourself with your hands on your cheek’s shouting “OMG” after every dark turn this film takes.
Harpoon delivers brutal surprises mixed with laugh-out-loud dark humor. The dialogue draws the viewer in with brilliant storytelling and then hits you in the gut, or balls. You may find yourself looking up Edgar Alan Poe and rewatching Life of Pi after this one, just to slow your adrenaline down and to keep yourself from questioning the motives of your closest friends.