Broadly-acted, brutally boring and downright bizarre, “The Accompanist” lands like a 7-chord pounded with a sledgehammer.
It’s a romantic mystery that ineptly blends ballet, an abusive relationship and the supernatural, often with groan-out-loud effect.
Writer-director and star Frederick Keeve is introduced to us, weeping at the keyboard in the opening scene. It won’t be long before he isn’t crying alone.
He plays Jason, the accomplished but grieving accompanist for an L.A. (Venice Beach) ballet school, a sad loner who has to be bullied into taking a goldfish a colleague at the office gives him to cheer him up.
Jason has a past. Jason has a secret. And the pushy-flirty dancer Brandon (Ricky Palomino) seems to know its existence, even as he arm-twists Jason into working nights so that Brandon can dazzle at an upcoming New York ballet audition.
“Will you trust me?” he pleads. “Whatever this big secret is, I can handle it!”
Him? Sure. Us? Not so much.
There’s an attraction, and complications. Brandon’s getting smacked around by his raging lover (Aaron Cavette). Jason’s “big secret” has something to do with all these car accident flashbacks and nightmares, the wife and kids in the car, and “the music of the spheres.”
Everything about this is just as clumsy as can be. Brandon’s instant belief “Did YOU do that?” after that an earthquake that interrupts a rehearsal, Jason’s cavalier way with his “gift,” even with the violent Adam, the long LONG rehearsal sequences (with the pianist off camera) interrupted by pretty scenic shots of the Hollywood Hills and the coast. Nothing blends together.
The mystery isn’t all that mysterious, the acting is borderline primitive with dialogue that suggests everybody just wants to rush through it in a monotone, with as little expression as possible.
Brandon: “What did you lie to me?”
Jason: “Lie to you I was trying to help you…”
Let me help you. Don’t bother with “The Accompanist.”
MPAA Rating: unrated, with violence, sex, nudity, profanity
Cast: Frederick Keeve, Ricky Palomino, Aaron Cavette
Credits: Written and directed by Frederick Keeve A Dark Star release.
Running time: 1:31