Hollow Body

An Intriguing Film That Just Misses Its Firework

by Liselotte Vanophem

THE QUICK SELL
Hollow Body is a struggling rock band led by Jimmy who makes a deal with Rick a shady record executive.

DIRECTED BY
Alex Keledjian

WRITTEN BY
Alex Keledjian

 
 

“I’m not a woman. I’m a force of nature.” Courtney Love stated this in 1998 but it definitely could have come from Rachel, Allie Gonino (“Red Road (TV)”, “Geography Club”) from Hollow Body.

In the new Alex Keledjian (“Feast”, “SummerBreak 3”) film, this timid and timorous Rachel is being transformed into a carefree and reckless rock chick by the strike of a lightning bolt.

However, it would have been great if Hollow Body got the same energy spark because sadly it turns out to be slightly flat.

Once a successful musician and producer, Jimmy, David Arquette (“Once Upon A Time In Venice”, “Bone Tomahawk”) is celebrating his 50th birthday in agony and despair.

Yes, still surrounded by a lot of women of which most of them are half his age, but as desperate and agitated as his life is just doom and gloom. Until two random musicians crash his party.

Seeing the potential of the young guitarist Scott, Ryan Donowho (“Broken Flowers”, “Salvation”) and meeting the shy but very talented singer Rachel (Allie Gonino), Jimmy decides to start Hollow Body, a rock band inspired by the rock music of the golden area.

After producing some songs and gigging at their house, the big night for Hollow Body has arrived. Accompanied by acclaimed producer Rick, Luke Wilson (“Bottle Rocket”, “Rock Dog”), the band is about to get their well-deserved breakthrough.

However, what could have been the most amazing evening of their lives, becomes their nightmare. Not only does Rachel suffer from severe stage fright but also the band breaks up. As if it couldn’t get worse, Rachel gets struck by lightning.

They always say that a near-death experience changes people and this was the case for her. Gone was the shy, fearful and introvert girl. Hello incredibly extroverted, unreserved and wild rock chick.

At first this might have been a blessing for the band as their reach the peak of their success due to their reborn singer. However, it doesn’t take long before things are taking a very deadly turn…

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. It seems the perfect angle for a feature film that will rock the screen. However, Hollow Body lacks stage presence massively.

First of all, the producers clearly didn’t know what they want or how they wanted it to be. Did they want to make a movie about a rock ‘n roll band struggling to break through in the music industry or did they want to make a more sci-fi film of the aftermath of the lightning strike? Or a combination of the two? Doesn’t matter what it was, it was very messy, too complicated and certainly not clear where the film was heading too. What a shame.

However, if there’s one thing that kept this movie alive, was the eye-catching performance from Allie Gonino as Rachel. She shines as the very gentle, feeble and modest young woman and rocks as the rebellious, disobedient and cheerful frontwoman with a flair for music, style and how to rock a stage.

Dreaming of becoming a musician but torn apart between being a family man or hard-core musician, the restless, anxious but caring and loving Scott is being portrayed the wonderful Ryan Donowho.

We see a very convincing David Arquette as Jimmy, one of many music producers who can’t give up their dream no matter how long overdue. Luke Wilson might have the least screen time but when he’s on screen, he’s on fire! Literally and figuratively speaking.

Of course, whether it’s a story about a struggling rock band or a futuristic film, the cinematography and production design need to fit a movie like Hollow Body perfectly. And it did, thanks to both Cameron Duncan and Danielle Lee and their respective cinematography and set design teams.

It captured beautifully the rock ‘n roll, wild and crazy vide of the story as well as the more secretive and darker vibe of the film.

A very “nice on the eyes” cinematography and enjoyable and pleasing acting performance. What a shame the story didn’t fulfil its potential. Hollow Body would have turn out to become the star of the big screen. Sadly, it burned up almost instantly.

 

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