Bold, shocking, emotional, political, infuriating, tender all describe the film A Marine Story.
Alexandra is a Marine returning home to a small town. She brings with her some painful memories, a mysterious past, and many unanswered questions.
The movie begins with her train ride home, which is followed by a ten mile hike. During her walk home, she makes a few stops, and briefly visits some old friends. One stop, though, is not so pleasant. She stops at a convenience store where some suspicious looking kids are attempting to steal some goods. Ever the sharp, attentive, dutiful Marine that she is, Alex quickly puts a stop to that.
As if that wasn’t enough, soon thereafter, Alex meets up with an old beau, Leo. They share some drinks at the local bar. Some male friends of Leo’s come by, and they all continue to drink. Some of the guys taunt Alex for being a female Marine. Leo decides to squash that by pitting Alex against a friend of his, Dale, in an arm wrestling match. He proves to be no match for Alex.
Hell hath no fury like a man humiliated in arm wrestling. Dale is a very sore loser, and he proves that by hitting her. Long story short, he loses that fight as well. Though Dale seems to go into hiding after this, he makes sure that he is seen and heard throughout the rest of the film.
Thus the story really begins. One of the troubled youths from the convenience store is a girl by the name of Saffron Snow. She lives with her grandmother. As a child, a drunk driver crashed into the car in which Saffron, her parents, and her brother are all driving. Saffron was the lone survivor, a deep scar that never fully heals.
Saffron’s grandmother pleads with Alex to try to get Saffron to turn over a new leaf. With nothing left to lose and everything to gain, Alex agrees.
As to be expected, there is great tension and conflict between the two. Saffron is pushed to her limits, and Alexandra faces one of her greatest challenges.
As their tumultuous relationship continues, Alex’s back story comes to light.
This is a lesbian film, but it is no love story. Instead, we get an inside look of the travesty that was Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We see Alex struggle to not only maintain a certain appearance, we see the emotional toll it takes on her as well. This struggle, those lies, and the façade of it all haunt Alex’s past, and attack her present life.
Everything comes to a head when it seems that Saffron has turned herself around and is ready to enlist. She suddenly disappears. Alex’s secret has been revealed, and many people, especially Leo, are devastated by the news, and her lack of honesty.
Unable to administer any damage control for herself, Alex frantically looks for Saffron. She finds her in a drug house with some of her old acquaintances. Alex tries to rescue her from the house, but she is outnumbered, and unarmed. A fight between Alex and the junkies results in Saffron being shot in the abdomen, and the part of the house where the meth lab is located exploding.
This movie is excellently filmed, and the cast is stellar. Dreya Weber portrays Alex. Paris Pickard is Saffron. Anthony Michael Jones plays an enthralling Leo. Christine Mourad plays Holly, Alex’s best friend. All of the actors are raw, honest, emotional, and sincere in their portrayals. Their acting in this movie will touch you in a way that few films can.
A Marine Story is a powerhouse of a movie that will leave you speechless, teary-eyed, and joyful all at the same time.