- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

Also known as:

Year: 2014

Genre: Independent / Drama / Noir

Language: English

Runtime: 60 min

Director: Pablo D'Stair

Writer: Pablo D'Stair


Is it true that Leonard's wife has been married before? Is it true that Leonard is seeing someone behind her back? The paranoia if the relationship grows, and Leonard needs answers. But soon his wife suddenly disappears.

Our thoughts:
I first heard of Pablo D'Stair when he sent me his first film "A Public Ransom" earlier this year. It was a strange exchange, as it ended with him also reviewing one of my movies - before I got time to review his! What I found in Pablo D'Stair was a very interesting, down to earth guy that I could easily relate to. I'd say we're making movies on similar levels, just with a different style. He continues with his dialogue heavy noir-infused drama with "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief".

Where "A Public Ransom" first hooked me with having the interesting plot device of a mysterious missing person's note, "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" hooks me with the mere fact that it's scraped to even simpler devices. This is the story of a relationship where both people have heard what their significant other has been doing (or is doing) behind their back, but both unable to find the truth. The couple, Leonard and Lana, are seemingly going nowhere with their argument. And 3 weeks later, Lana is gone.

This drama focuses exclusively on dialogue, but as it's just 60 minutes long it never feels overdrawn. Pablo D'Stair pulls out rather eccentric acting and the script is a mouthful, but I am happy to see that he also kept the movie focused. I always seem to have a problem with dialogue-heavy movies that sort of forget what they are trying to say, but luckily Pablo D'Stair doesn't suffer from that, especially in this one. I found this a lot easier to get into than "A Public Ransom", even though I can't say which one I prefer out of the two.

Of course, the intriguing part of "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" is the mystery of where Lana disappeared, who all the people are and who is telling the truth. You can certainly feel the noir inspiration, even though what we're watching is essentially a relationship drama. While this filmmaker is keeping things extremely simple and low-key, with stationary camera shots and natural lighting, you gotta admire that he managed to give it a noir feel. It's dark and smokey, perhaps only missing the contrasts and heavy shadows, but still does just enough.

Now, what Pablo D'Stair really wanted to say with his film, I'm not entirely sure. We're about as lost as our lead is in this deceitful drama. A trait I often enjoy, as it enhances the headaches from being a voyeur into a participant. This movie got to me more emotionally than it did psychologically, though, whether that was intended or not. It approaches the mystery with so few answers in hand that I enjoyed it for what it was then and there, but it might not be one I rethink and unfortunately not a movie I see myself revisiting either. I look forward to seeing what he does after this, and perhaps I am even more curious what he will make in a few years.

Positive things:
- It certainly fits well with the Pablo D'Stair style established in "A Public Ransom".
- Short and to the point. Stays focused throughout.
- Despite a few slip-ups in the acting, the dialogue is intriguing.

Negative things:
- It's probably not a movie that will leave me thinking about it.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 0/5
Comedy: 0.5/5

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