There’s a new superhero in town, and her name is Dakota Skye. She’s not the type of superhero who flies around saving the world. In fact, she struggles with the simple things that most teenage girls do, such as trying to figure out her love life, work through issues with her friends, and graduate from high school. What is her super power? Dakota can always see the truth — in subtitles — behind all the little lies people tell. As she tries to figure out what the future might hold and who she can trust, audiences will be delighted and entertained by the adolescent drama that is Dakota’s life.
Dakota Skye was one of the bright shining examples of quality independent films on the program at the recent 10th Annual Waterfront Film Festival, and it also won an award for Best Screenplay at the 2008 Phoenix Film Festival. In my opinion, this movie is a true winner, and I hope that it will be produced for broad release in movie theaters soon.
The writing was fresh and intelligent, delivering an original new twist on the superhero theme. The directing appeared subtle yet effective, blending unique scenes and characters into believable situations, while contrasting the mundane everyday high school life with several well chosen scenic landscape shots. I found it difficult to believe that this impressive film was shot on an indie budget in less than 20 days.
The casting was also a perfect fit. The role of Jonah was played by Ian Nelson, who successfully navigated the fine art of believable yet understated emotion, my favorite acting technique — saying more without words than can be said with them. J.B. Ghuman Jr. plays Dakota’s boyfriend, and his on-screen charisma translates into his character being both believably obnoxious yet adorable at the same time. Finally, Dakota herself was portrayed by Eileen Boylan, who successfully managed to blend a believable mixture of sarcastic apathetic teenage girl with struggling potential superhero. Move over Ellen Page… Eileen Boylan has hit the scene.
The only things I might have changed about this film were very minor. I would have liked to see Dakota herself be a little more personable in some way towards the beginning of the movie. I liked her sarcastic edge, and her adolescent angst was appropriately realistic, but I found myself questioning what the attraction was initially for her male counterparts. However, by the end, I found myself liking her and buying her relationships wholeheartedly, despite that initial reaction.
There were at least a dozen or more lines from the movie that were immensely quotable. I could see this film developing an almost cult-like following. No doubt, a Dakota Skye comic book series would also be a big hit.
Keep an eye out for my upcoming article featuring an interview with Director John Humber, writer Chad Shonk, and actor Ian Nelson.