BLACK MARIGOLDS – Indie Film Review

Rachel Boston and Noah Bean star in BLACK MARIGOLDS (2013)

Rachel Boston and Noah Bean star in BLACK MARIGOLDS (2013) — image source: official film website

“Black Marigolds” is an indie feature that has taken a few years to reach the general public. In 2011, the production team shot the movie on a borrowed camera in 12 days with a six-person crew. Written and directed by Lance Malbon, it premiered at the 2013 Boston International Film Festival, where it won an Indie Spirit Special Recognition award. The film was also an official selection of the 2013 Cincinnati Film Festival.

“Black Marigolds” stars Rachel Boston (“(500) Days of Summer,” 2009) and Noah Bean (“The Pill,” 2011, co-starring with Boston) as Kate and Ryan Cole, a couple who decide to take up residence in a cabin in northern California (actually the Palomar Mountain area in southern California, according to IMDbPro). Ryan is a successful first-time novelist; Kate is a translator. Ryan plans to use the secluded site to work on his second novel.

At first, the location enhances the romance of their young marriage. But there’s a problem: Ryan has started to have trouble with his memory. Despite the apparent closeness between Ryan and Kate, there is a secret that he has kept from her. Ryan’s deception and his initial denial that there is anything amiss eventually lead to his sudden decline. How will Kate deal with this crisis?

Boston and Bean do a good job of playing young marrieds in the early, romantic stage of marriage, when each partner believes the other one is perfect. They are particularly adept at portraying the breakdown in this idyllic scenario and the resulting disillusionment. Special recognition goes to Melinda Lee, who does a very convincing supporting turn as Kate’s mother.

Director Malbon takes full advantage of the picturesque location at which this film was shot. Cinematographer Paul Toomey captures with style both this setting and the action that takes place in it. The original musical score by Bryan Lee Brown aptly fits the shifting emotional tones of the film. The film editing is generally good, but a long, handheld tracking shot at the film’s close probably could have been cut shorter. Likewise, the film’s sound tends to use too much emotional cueing that is not necessary, as these shifts are readily apparent in the performances of the cast.

“Black Marigolds,” which is recommended for fans of romantic drama, will be out on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon in the near future. In the mean time, check out the trailer below. For more information, including future VOD release dates, follow the film online:

Official site: Black Marigolds

IMDb: Black Marigolds (2013)

Facebook: Black Marigolds

Trailer from YouTube via IFTTT.

Disclosure: Loud Green Bird provided this fair and honest review in exchange for access to an online screener of the film. No financial considerations were involved.