The Movie Waffler New Release Review [Cinema/VOD] - I’M FINE (THANKS FOR ASKING) | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [Cinema/VOD] - I’M FINE (THANKS FOR ASKING)

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) review
A hairdresser struggles to accumulate the cash required to get her daughter off the streets.

Review by Blair MacBride

Directed by: Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina

Starring: Kelley Kali, Wesley Moss, Deon Cole, Angelique Molina

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) poster

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) follows a recently widowed single mother called Danny (co-director Kelley Kali) during the COVID-19 pandemic - the virus has no headline part to play in the film, however. As an unestablished member of the gig economy in suburban California, Danny struggles to provide for her young daughter Wes (Wesley Moss), with limited income forcing them both to stay in a tent by the side of a road. Nevertheless, the feature takes place over the course of an important day in their lives. Despite often self-induced distractions - clients cancelling on her, and the inability to have a constantly charged mobile phone - Danny attempts to finally end her and Wes's homelessness by getting enough money to secure a downpayment on rent for an apartment. To do this though, she must make a difficult choice to achieve shelter for her small family.

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) review

The film does a fine job at highlighting modern issues facing those in troubling circumstances. In particular, for both single parents and those grappling with earning an income from the gig economy. While Danny tries to gather enough cash to get her family of two off the streets, it's clear that she has to get over what, for her, are daily barriers in order to merely survive. Yet for the average person, these are things completely taken for granted: the likes of a having a charged wifi accessible device to enable you to do most modern daily tasks; possessing a washing machine to wash dirty clothes and belongings; or owning any mode of personal transport (car or a bike etc.), allowing you to work on a more mobile basis.

For most who would assume these to be an absolute bare minimum of amenities, on the flip side, Danny has to make do with what she can. From getting a small bit of charge for her phone from a friend's external wall socket, to relying on her trusty roller skates to get her literally anywhere across town, Danny is constantly fighting an uphill battle. Indeed, in spite of its limited resources, the way in which this film skillfully conveys that narrative is admirable.

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) review

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) has a wonderful simplicity to it. Despite dealing with such a complex situation, the film showcases Danny's plight in a satisfyingly easy way. It doesn't need forced drama, deep multi-layered dialogue or stunning locations to tell its tale. The story's matter of fact events and candid interactions between characters are its driving force, and the intimacy of its cinematography only bolsters its authentic, believable story. It depicts Danny's efforts almost in a documentarian fashion, giving us a real likeable grittiness.

At the same time, though, the inevitable negative effects of the low-cost nature of this production can be felt in other areas. Admittedly Kali has a steady performance throughout, but one or two of her cast members are a little rigid in their delivery, slightly detracting from certain exchanges. Not only that, but the film does become a smidge formulaic in its final act.

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) review

That said, although this movie's acting and predictability are a little pernicious to its otherwise respectable showing, you've got to give I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) the benefit of the doubt. In spite of this feature's small-time budget and limited resources, for what it is, this indie doesn't do too badly at all.

I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking) is in UK cinemas and on VOD from March 3rd.

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