When a handful of people that barely know each other get trapped inside a broken elevator, tensions rise and their fear of each other becomes quickly apparent, especially considering the fact that the Coronavirus had just come to fruition. As far as indie films go, probably not the finest I’ve set my eyes on this year, but at the same time it did have one or two redeeming qualities that made the flick just about watchable on a whole. Corona was presented to me in exchange for an honest and fair review prior to its release in September, 2020.
Director: Mostafa Keshvari
Writers: Mostafa Keshvari
Starring: Andrea Stefancikova, Josh Blacker, Emy Aneke, Andy Canete, Richard Lett, Traei Tsai, Zarina Sterling
One topic on everyone’s mind right now is of course, the Coronavirus. Whether it’s on a television screen we’re watching or in a newspaper we’re reading, the pandemic put before us, has been the dominant subject over the last few months, and it now seems like we’re slowly getting the predictable wave of indie releases on the same topic too. I must say that if you’re the type of person that’s easily subjected to depressingly negative stereotypes of people being pushed down your throat, then this new production may be right up your street – otherwise, I’d probably give it a miss.
Something that stood out to me initially was the fact that the movie clocked in at just over an hour in runtime – seventy minutes to be exact – but that short runtime is pretty easy to understand, especially when you take into consideration the fact that the entire flick was set and filmed, inside just a small elevator. Another thing to note would be the fact that the director of this movie even described it as being a character study of society. The exact quote from the director being “a study of society, people and moral choices, believing that we are all in this ride together”. Sadly the deplorable personalities showcased, were just a little too unrealistic and negative for me to become invested in at all.
With that being said, each of the characters had their own distinct “features”, as you’d expect. We had the everyday, hardworking American labourer, we had the typical American couple who were anticipating a baby at any given moment, we had the young millennial taking selfies at any given opportunity for her social media feeds, we had the foreigner that could barely speak a word of English and of course, we had the rather topical, gun-slinging, white supremacist that questioned immigration and literally had a swastika plastered on his forehead – not quite the truest, nor fairest representation of everyday America at all.
As previously mentioned, and in fairness to the creators, there were one or two redeeming qualities about Corona, one being the way in which the actors managed to convey a general sense of panic and hysteria throughout, along with some of the camerawork on display too – not an easy task to undertake when trapped inside such a small area of proximity for such a sustained period of time. In regard to the acting on an individual level, everybody seemed to hold their own, but the only face recognisable to me, was that of Richard Lett, who’s documentary has been reviewed previously on this website. Never Be Done: The Richard Glen Lett Story (2020).
Overall, a pretty weak, unconvincing and rather frustrating story that the world probably doesn’t need right now, but one that was acted well by all involved and filmed to a good standard. Corona is being distributed by Level 33 Entertainment and will be available worldwide on September 1, 2020 on all major platforms including Apple Movies, Comcast, Spectrum, GooglePlay, Microsoft, Redbox and more.
“China! That’s where the virus is from!”Richard – Corona