‘Grand Isle’, a film centered around crazed blood stained characters, director Stephen S. Campanelli captures the many relevant, pragmatic yet untold stories of America’s countless martyrs.
A gun slinging veteran, a promiscuous southern belle, and a young, impressionable all American man come together in this psychological thriller that is as twisted as the dirt roads in Louisiana itself. Set in 1988, ‘Grand Isle’ displays its relevance in more ways than one while also leaving room for excitement in every southern drawl that projects from the screen. Campanelli created a gripping narrative of the many stories that seem to go untold. From sex trafficking to the PTSD of war torn veterans, this film showcases the cold and ominous side of our neighbors who keep their secrets wrapped in pretty exteriors. In this gripping tale, main character Buddy is trapped between the chaos of a storm and the madness that rages within an old, country house with mysteries pouring out of its walls.
When Buddy, played by Luke Benward, a simple man trying his hardest to make ends meet for his wife and baby girl, gets stuck between a rock and a hard place, he finds himself recounting a wild night that could put him in the electric chair for murder. Walter, played by grammy winning Nick Cage is his vice, along w
ith money and a romp in the sheets of course. This tale would be nothing without the star, KaDee Strickland, Walter’s wife, a blue eyed wolf in sheep’s clothing that has a few tricks up her floral dresses. He must find his way out of this labyrinth - all while avoiding what secrets may be lurking in the basement. On a surface level, the audience leaves the theater with the age old mantras playing on repeat: money is the root of all evil, family always comes first, and above all don’t trust strangers. While these are all sweet, pretty ways to wrap up a rather lackluster gift, Grand Isle goes much deeper than these overdone cliches. Grand Isle completely unearths the realities of what hides behind the facades of America.
Speaking with Iver Jallah, producer of the film, was as exhilarating as the film itself. Jallah, answered many questions ranging from the process of making the film to what he wanted audiences to gain from watching ‘Grand Isle.’ His answers primarily had a common theme: the characters. Jallah tells how the casting process was strenuous and intense. Nick Cage, especially doing a thorough job connecting with his character Walter. The star studded cast was such a memorable piece to the movie as they truly work to build an atmosphere for all thrill seeking, mystery loving viewers to indulge.