Review of ‘Midnight in the Switchgrass’

This movie starts with a voiceover by Officer Byron Crawford (Emile Hirsch) and an aerial pictures of Pensacola. In a film allegedly concerned with the fortunes of the town’s most disadvantaged residents, the idea concerning the importance of individual responsibility in deciding fate feels out of place.

Women vanish on a daily basis in this small town in western Florida. The victims all had similar characteristics: they were young, white, and mainly worked in the sex industry. A man comes discovers a lifeless, hastily discarded body in a random field early in the film. When the cops arrive, they realise that it’s one of the women who went missing recently. Tracey Lee (Caitlin Carmichael), who is the next target of the killer, stumbles out of a motel room and keep walking past a petrol station, where a trucker tries to talk to her. She fights back before being saved by another trucker, Peter (Lukas Haas). Peter can’t be trusted either, as evidenced by the dramatic soundtrack, his shifty gaze, and the slow, frightening camera movement.


One scenario comes in the movie where Karl Helter (FBI agent) is sitting in a car, watching this young, drunken female lurching through the streets. Despite his proximity and promise to save women like Tracey, he remains silent. Instead, he calls his partner, Rebecca Lombardo (Megan Fox), who is waiting for a perp at the same motel where the young woman Calvin (Colson Baker) who is a low-level pimp, ends up barging into her dirty lit room. She was not expecting him, and then scene starts with half-hearted attempts to physically fight and verbally skewer each other to achieve little in terms of storyline or character development. It’s also not at all entertaining to watch.


With such a star-cast, one might be expecting some juicy acting, while some of the performances shoot were feeling forced, as if the actors didn’t want to perform it all. (Surprisingly, Machine Gun Kelley has one of the more steady and invested turns.)


An un explanatory scene is also the part of movie where Detective Crawford sits at the office of Lieutenant Gilbright (Donovan Carter) and informed him that he is no longer working on the case of missing-young-women and reasons were not explained. Crawford feels depressed after their choppy and unpersuasive dialogue.


The victims and survivors who drive the major characters in Midnight in the Switchgrass are not respected. They serve as foils for the agents and investigators, providing a way for them to demonstrate their undeserved bravery and provide meaning to their existence. Crawford’s line is scattered throughout the film, sentiments that advertise a particular kind of politics or moral virtue rather than demonstrating or developing the individuals’ particular humanity.


Well its shameful that a fiery FBI agent, Lombardo was not given enough context while he was working hard and from long run. Indeed, the male characters in Midnight in the Switchgrass are given more attention: Crawford juggles his duties to his wife and child with his fixation with the case, while Helter spends his few camera minutes contemplating his impending divorce and evaluating the impact of Lombardo’s recklessness on his life. Despite spending extensive time with Lombardo, neither of these men asks about her life, which is likely the closest the film comes to being realistic.


Helter eventually decides to leave the investigation, leaving Lombardo and Crawford to work together on a last-ditch undercover operation to apprehend the killer. The picture loses all pretence at this point and becomes into a full-fledged action thriller, which is a welcome move that adds bigger stakes and much-needed suspense to the story. Unfortunately, it’s too little, too late, and the film, predictably, concludes on an unsatisfying and forgettable note.

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