Night Train Brian King

Night Train Brian King
Similar to Brian King's earlier screenwriting effort Cypher, a certain low-budget cult sensibility isolates and compartmentalizes darker human behaviour through Night Train in the form of a stylistically unique fable. Some will dismiss it as terrible, given the cartoonish CGI and inconsistent, but deliberately hyper-stylized set and light design, while others will embrace the constructed reality as its intended mysterious parable, finding intrigue in Pandora's Box, much like our shady protagonists. With symbol comes literal; a box unites these strangers on a train, giving them wish fulfilment, glimpses at potential hopes and dreams they would otherwise spend a lifetime searching for. The container falls into the hands of Chloe (Leelee Sobieski), a young pre-med student, Peter (Steve Zahn), a drunken salesman, and Miles (Danny Glover), an aging conductor that has passively watched life fly by (train, tunnel, conductor, get it?), when the mysterious stranger holding it overdoses on Seconol. We never see what is in the box, for obvious reasons, but the strangers are ever changed by the contents, willing to stretch the limits of morality and reject their constructed identities in order to hold it in their possession. It's all about the lengths that man will go to in order to achieve the illusionary light at the end of the tunnel, and how the illusion of hope keeps the illusion of humanity intact. Of course, there is a familiarity with this premise and its implicit satire but some smart touches, a campy feel and a propulsive nature keep things intriguing. Similarly peculiar is the fiscal nature of male dreams presented, in relation to the manic, almost maternal nature of female desire within the film. There is even a comment from Sobieski's character about "being tired of following other people's dreams," demonstrating a keen awareness of gender construct in Western society. Included with the DVD is a "Making of" featurette, where half-naked Bulgarians build the train set and actors talk about their character interpretations of the efferent box. Interview clips with cast and crew also shed light on these themes, along with some of the struggles in making a low budget independent film. (E1)