Green is Gold (2016) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

GREEN IS GOLD

Director: Ryon Baxter
Writer: Ryon Baxter
Stars: Derek W. Adam,  Jimmy Baxter,  Ryon Baxter

Ryon Baxter Writes, Directs and acts in “Green is Gold” that is about a father who goes to prison and his son Mason is forced to live with his older brother Cameron who has an interesting but compromising business.

Cameron is the older brother portrayed by Baxter who grows and sells cannabis on his rented property. After his father played by David Fine is arrested and sentenced to prison, Cameron’s younger sibling Mason (Jimmy Baxter) is sent to stay with Cameron and discover a new life with his older brother who teaches him to live his life and also shows him his secret business.

“Green is Gold” to me is everything you expect from a low budget independent movie. The storyline isn’t complex or layered. The soundtrack doesn’t stand out and is throughout the movie adding only an atmosphere to most of the scenes. The filming is mostly captured on handheld cameras and there is hardly any steady cam technique. All of the above isn’t criticising the movie by any means.

In fact the acting is decent and the natural chemistry between Mason and Cameron is probably down to the fact that Jimmy and Ryon are real life brothers. Most of the story revolves around Cameron’s business and is shot largely in his house or within his gardens where he grows his weed.

Mason from the beginning appears to be inadequate and low in confidence compared to Cameron who portrays a more streetwise and worldly older brother. He teaches the young boy how to stand up for himself after a scrap in his school with another boy.

There are some interesting scenes between both actors throughout the movie in particular when Cameron discovers some of his plants are destroyed due to an accidental error on Mason’s part. Whilst asking Mason how this could of happened, Cameron realises that Mason could be high on weed and asks him to be honest with him and tell him if he is high. Mason acting sheepish denies he is high leaving Cameron more annoyed with his younger brother lying to him than smoking the weed or the accidental burning of his plants. It’s scenes like this that you learn what the older brother is about and how important his relationship with his brother is and what trust means to him.

Another particular scene whilst completing a deal in someone’s house, the police appear upfront outside the house dealing with an unrelated incident and the scene is built up with some intense acting from the buyers squabbling amongst each other as Mason and Cameron hide under the house until the police leave the area. The sequence appears to last longer than it probably did but it was possibly the most interesting scene in the film. It added tension to the final part of the film and gives the audience an insight into the risks, the paranoia and stakes involved in drug dealing.

“Green is Gold” examines the life of a drug dealer and the life they lead full of risks and there is also a detection of paranoia in Cameron’s persona. Ryon Baxter does a fine job juggling between writing, directing and acting in one of the lead roles with ease and his real life little brother Jimmy is capable of matching his older brother in their scenes together and you wouldn’t detect that this is Jimmy’s first acting role as he plays the role convincingly.

“Green is Gold” is a decent short film with a simple storyline that will keep you interested for its 82 minute duration. It is as I said earlier a typical independent low budget movie with a soundtrack that is more a repetitive background noise that I would describe as “Headache Grey” it’s nothing more and nothing less.

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