Reviewed by Matt Ritchey
A man believes that because he owns property, he is so independent that he can create his own Nation, his own Constitution, his own laws – and he is therefore not subject to the laws of “other” Nations. There have always been people who feel this way (hell, do some digging into Walt Disney), but this idea feels particularly apt for our current environment of paranoia, nationalism, militarism, and preached xenophobia. And Eric DePriester has created a monster of a tyrant in Grant Wilson, self-appointed leader of “The Republic of Kallipoly.”
In Treason, Grant (Dave Crossland) is a man-child who refuses to do anything he doesn’t want to do – from throwing tantrums when he doesn’t win family games to plotting the destruction of his next-door neighbor’s (Ra Hanna) poolhouse. Reality is knocking on the door in the form of multiple court orders from the government, but Grant is too busy training his brainwashed son (Colby Rummell) in military games, terrorizing his wife (Dalia Vosylius), and fighting with his “headstrong” (read: “rational”) daughter (a stand-out Emma Center).
The actors do a fine job and the script is in decent shape, but it’s billed as a “dark comedy on the dangers and absurdity of American politics.” On the surface, it is. But the “comedy” part is woefully missing. The situations and comedic scenarios are all there, but nothing is played up enough to quite show the ludicrousness of the situation, making Treason more of an over-serious drama at times. It’s clear the project wasn’t intended that way and with a few small tweaks could get it to that perfect balance, but until then, it’s a well-structured satire with good performances, all-too-relatable characters, and a tale of caution.
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