Writer/director, David Noel Bourke has a real talent for capturing the underside of Danish society. I have no idea as to the accuracy of his portrayal of the minor criminals that populate this film, but it certainly all feels sleazily realistic. No Right Turn centres on four main characters. Johnny (Tao Hildebrand) is a drug-addled drug dealer full of empty plans and married to Nina (Laura Bach), a former prostitute who Johnny believes has abandoned her previous profession for him. Teddy (Lars Lippert) is a client of both Johnny and Nina. Into all of this steps Monella (Sira Stampe), a painfully shy artist with whom Nina develops a friendship. As the relationship between the two women progresses, Nina eventually tells Monella of her plans to escape Johnny s seedy world with his money and asks Monella for her help... So far we have all the tropes for a familiar story of betrayal and revenge. But a number of things set this film apart from the run-of-the mill crime thriller, the first one being the atmosphere of the film. Although this is an independent film and not one that is flush with cash, Bourke manages to achieve a great deal with the budget that he has so much so that the film is more than capable of holding its own in comparison to bigger budgeted films within the genre. The production values are remarkably high throughout, and the city in which most of the action takes place is a beautifully evoked neon-lit sleazefest of drugs, dive-bars and the low-lives that inhabit them. A selection of very well chosen locations are superbly brought to life by both the cinematography and a soundtrack that really does set the tone for the on screen events. Not content, however, to remain a straightforward crime story, the film also includes a remarkably well integrated fantasy element. Close to the city is a snow-filled landscape which is not only home to Monella but which also provides a striking contrast to the grim reality of the city. Ultimately, though, this is a film that depends on the performances of the cast for its success and here, all four of the main characters do a sterling job. This is especially true of Laura Bach and Sira Stampe whose characters relationship provides most of the direction for the plot. The two actresses really do bring both Nina and Monella to life in a manner that is engaging, consistent and utterly believable. It helps, of course, that the characters are well rounded and if not always sympathetic interesting enough that you want to know how things will pan out for them. This is especially true of Johnny who really is one of life s failures, even if he doesn t realise it. And it does say a lot for the strength of the script that even when faced with someone as unpleasant as this, I still found myself fascinated by his story. At the end of the day, No Right Turn is a fairy tale masquerading as a crime thriller. The film incorporates familiar themes of innocence and corruption, and guilt and redemption but, by placing these themes into a gritty modern setting, manages to become something utterly unique. The film has yet to start its festival run but when it does, I heartily recommend that you check it out. --Paul Pritchard - Pulpmovies.com
Lives converging through connections one would only think would only happen to others. Monella, who is in a state that at times seeming very catatonic. Expressed through her art and her life, all marking through the barrel of a gun. Johnny who makes his living as a drug runner via delivering in pizza boxes. A drunk who has a grand illusion of saving for a better life with his wife Nina, who has another plan. A series of events bring Monella and Nina together, forming a friendship through trust. As Johnny's downword spirial seemingly increases, Nina looks for her escape plan, one that involves Monella. After first witnessing David Noel Burke's LAST EXIT in 2003, a film that certainly opened up my eyes to an emerging talent. It was only natural that five years later, three that his latest film NO RIGHT TURN was in production, I wanted to be front row center for the next step in this unfolding talent. That wait was certainly one that was well worth it and more. NO RIGHT TURN not only brings the rawness that was displayed in LAST EXIT, but building on it with some major directional changes that show the maturity as a director from his first feature. His exploration into life on a level that brings both beauty and darkness into a fold like no other. Merging several different subgenres into a pulp like atmosphere filled with drugs, deceit and down right devastation. Mixing pure realism with a fantasy landscape that smooths out the rough edges the darkness hammers you with. Slick transitions, solid flowing storyline and spot on acting generate a highly entertaining film with several surprises to cap everything off. The core cast is very incredible in their deliveries and none more then that of Sira Stampe's portrayal of Monella. Right from the opening scenes with her in the bath tub slowly bringing the gun to her chin, the tension is brought to the table. Tension that spills out into the rest of the body of the film itself. Flawless and very artful, complementing the perfect storyline and characterizations. Both Laura Bach (Nina) and Tao Hildebrand (Johnny) also bring a stunning series of interactions that have the viewer feeling the true realisms of these characters. Both bring a sleaziness and darkness from two different aspects, symbolizing them through their sexual mingling. Burke weaves the central characters through elements of crime, passion, lust and action. Never losing the viewer, only bringing a truly extriguing painting of events throughout NO RIGHT TURN'S 90 plus minutes. NO RIGHT TURN is a film that really makes you think through the whole span of the film itself. The different images and situations that are brought to the mind, have you seeing outside the box presented. Much like the snow laced dreamy landscapes that pop up in the film. This is certainly a major step forward for David Noel Bourke, not only as a director, but as a writer as well. The proof being the painting on the screen, a painting that you would do yourself a great justice in seeing. --Steve Genier - Cinema Nocturna
Four people. Four different paths. One intersection. Nina is the sexy and alluring girlfriend of Johnny, a charming, but petty crook. To escape from her seedy life she has a sexual relationship with Teddy. One night Nina is abducted by a pair of thugs, but is rescued by the beautiful and timid Monella. Together Nina and Monella begin an erotic and passionate relationship that leads to a plot to steal Johnny's drug stash hidden in a safety deposit box. But nothing goes as planned and the two beautiful women get caught up in a lethally twisted tale of revenge and betrayal that send all four characters to their dark destiny. Inspired by 70s film noir, with breath taking plot twists, and shot in colors that pop like a graphic novel. No Right Turn is a modern sexy thriller that is part fantasy...part mystery...and all Pulp!