'Inside The Rain: Special Edition'
(Ellen Toland, Eric Roberts, Aaron Fisher, Rosie Perez, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2019) 2020 / FilmRise - MVD Visual)
Overview: Facing expulsion from college over a misunderstanding, a bipolar student (Aaron Fisher) indulges his misery at a strip club where he befriends a gorgeous, intelligent, outrageous woman (Ellen Toland) and they hatch a madcap scheme to prove his innocence.
Blu-ray Verdict: At its core, 'Inside The Rain' is a rather invitingly dramatic expose of the struggle of a young man with mental challenges, that, perhaps, whilst watching, touches those of us whom may be ourselves a few beats away from much the same of a situation.
College film student Benjamin Glass (played by writer-director Aaron Fisher) has it all: ADHD, OCD, borderline personality. And he's also bipolar!
But Glass is more than his diagnoses - he prefers the term "recklessly extravagant" - and he's determined to prove his genius. When a misunderstanding threatens to expel him from college, Glass pushes back; he plans on recreating the incident on video, with the help of a moonlighting sex worker (Ellen Toland) to clear his name.
But how will he raise the money for the film, when his parents dismiss the scheme as another manic episode? Sure we get the answer to that, along with a slew of unintended others, along the way, but what 'Inside The Rain' is also, and free flows with it throughout, is a wincingly funny and expertly written new film for the ages.
Based on Fisher’s own life experiences, the plot admittedly switches erratically between comedy and drama sometimes, whilst all the while seamlessly juggling many (sadly) half-realized plot points.
But the movie’s strange, inconsistent rhythm ultimately works as a reflection of Ben’s manic and depressive states. Fisher’s performance is disarmingly blunt and deadpan, offering an up-close portrait of mental illness as a banal reality (which often involves negotiations with ill-equipped bureaucracy), rather than the stuff of horror or caricature.
Emma, whom Ben meets when he defends her from lascivious men outside a strip club, is the classic Hooker With a Heart of Gold. She has no compelling qualities outside of her sensuousness and her desire to help Ben, but she does it effortlessly (both in character and as the actress toboot).
Sadly, in my humble opinion, Rosie Perez gets short changed here as a smack-talking psychiatrist, the actor’s earnest charm undercut — as is the case with many of the film’s other off-to-the-left actors - but ultimately, there is no need for too much suspension of disbelief, for you will be invested from the off and that will carry you lovingly to its amiable conclusion. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: