Review: TRAIN STATION (2017) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Review: TRAIN STATION (2017)

Review: TRAIN STATION (2017)

TRAIN STATION begins in a Kenya station where a man, simply known as "Person in Brown" is left stranded due to a mysterious train accident. Soon, the story sets a chain of events around the world where everything happens for better or worse based on each character's varied choices.

REVIEW: TRAIN STATION brought the world or more appropriately, 25 different countries together by 40 filmmakers to collaborate on a single movie. Thanks to the brainchild of CollabFeature founders Marty Shea and Ian Bonner, this is their second headline-worthy effort following their Guinness World Record-breaking feature-length debut of THE OWNER in 2012, which previously featured 25 directors.

On paper, the concept of involving "40 filmmakers from 25 different countries to participate exclusively online via collaborative filmmaking" sounds intriguing enough. With just a basic premise alongside two major themes about making choices and taking chances, imagine all the creative possibilities that 40 filmmakers can bring to pick up and move the narrative forward. Best of all, this is the kind of experimental movie where filmmakers are allowed to explore various shifting tones and genres ranging from drama to comedy, and even to thriller to surrealistic fantasy.

Michael Chen and Anrie Too during the Malaysian segment in TRAIN STATION (2017)

Unfortunately, for all the potentially interesting yet unpredictable storyline, the movie falters mostly in its execution. The biggest problem here lies in its frustratingly abrupt and sometimes incomplete non-linear narrative style (such as the Malaysian segment played by Anrie Too and Michael Chen) that are either left hanging in the air or too ambiguous for its own good. Even if the movie intends to make us think than spoon-feed us with clear-cut resolution, it still serves little purpose when the end result often goes nowhere.

While I do appreciate the collaborative effort attempted by CollabFeature, it's just too bad the movie turns out to be a missed opportunity.

While the concept of involving "40 filmmakers from 25 different countries to collaborate on a single movie" sounds like an intriguing idea, the end result often derails to produce a cohesive whole.

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