Crazy couple on an island, with flashbacks

Terrence Martin previously directed the not much noticed 2009The Donner Party, with Crispin Glover. A Cinemagazine review in Danish compliments Glover's straightforward lead performance and says, "The cast acts solidly, the sets look good and the soundtrack is also good. Still, 'Famished' is not recommended. The rigid narrative structure, the slow pace and the muddled editing throw a spanner in the works." (Wife Dominique Braun has no previous credits.) The Danish review says the film begins in medias res with no explanation. This one does the same, plunging us onto a small sailing yacht with an awkward couple (Martin and Braun) going somewhere, we don't know where. Domi (Braun) wants to take a day off on nearby islands. T.J. (Martin) refuses, wanting to complete the journey and saying these are known as "the Islands of Despair." While he is drunk (he is a drinker, also a surfer), she takes a rubber raft and camps on the island. As the awkward couple marinates in this untenable situation, a lot of flashbacks come along to explain how they got here.

These flashbacks feature Marina (Martina Gusman), a Spanish-speaking woman friend of Domi's back home in South America, saying she admires her love story but Domi, who dabbles in art but is no good and seems to know it, complains that she and T.J. are not having sex. Such scenes alternate with ones featuring Ed Harris as T.J''s ultra-macho, retro father, disapproving of his planned boat trip, but also insisting he be very careful, if he goes on it, to establish firmly that he is the captain. T.J. evidently has failed at that, in the event, since Domi has gone on her own in a quite crazy and dangerous way at present in landing alone on a deserted island. More flashbacks explain the father never liked his son's relationship with this woman and even schemed with his other son (Riley Smith) to disrupt it. Domi (in another flashback) tells Marina all her husband does is "work all day with his father." The father plans for the son to inherit his business, or did: he now declares him to be "a fucking loser."

Further flashbacks reveal Domi fleeing dinner after an ugly moment alone with the father and, due to the repeatedly alluded to lack of sex and disliking the "gringo" lifestyle, packing up and returning to South America. How they have gotten back together since we don't exactly learn, but it's hinted T.J.'s brother made T.J. a lot of money and, disloyal to their father, offered him some way to win Domi back. Scenes of Marina and Domi (while back in S.A.) show Domi wasn't happy back home either, and may have decided on her own to return to her husband.

Meanwhile back on the island - a present time nearly overwhelmed in the film by now by all these flashbacks - things are progressively crazier. Domi seems to want to settle in by herself, and refuses a catch of fish T.J. offers. T.J. stays on the island, alternately surfing, fishing, and sitting among the sea lions and rocks in a wet suit loudly practicing lessons from a Spanish language textbook.

The surf, the rocks, the islands are dramatic and ruggedly beautiful. The flashbacks are obtrusive. The couple washed up on the island are a mess and it's impossible to care about them. There is an ominous percussive score that promises something menacing. It goes with the film's anguished, fumbling invention.

Get Away If You Can, 78 mins., not previously seen, will show in Los Angeles at Laemmle Monica and other select theaters and on digital for rent or purchase from Fri., Aug. 19, 2022.