Review – ‘PLOTZ’ Directed by Zeke Bluestone & Brandon Olmstead

Written and Directed by Zeke Bluestone & Brandon Olmstead, Plotz is a drama short starring Zeke Bluestone & Brandon Olmstead as two friends who go on a road trip to rediscover their Jewish roots.

Zeke Bluestone plays Jonah while Brandon Olmstead plays Liam, two friends with a lot of time on their hands. When one decides to get in touch with his Jewish roots, Liam and Jonah will take a road trip across Continental United States to the only Jewish majority place they know; Hollywood as Israel is way out of their budget. During the journey, Liam and Jonah’s friendship will be tested as they come across a variety of obstacles that threaten to derail their journey in its tracks.

Plotz is a labour of love from two friends and should be approached as such. This is a fan made production that is a whole lot of fun. The comedy here is both razor sharp and sublime and both Zeke Bluestone & Brandon Olmstead are creative powerhouses that have made an engaging, entertaining short. Being funny without actually trying is an artform in and of itself and the duo manages to make the film hilarious courtesy of their antics and impeccable comedy delivery.

The best thing about Plotz is how it seemingly goes off in random directions once the duo hits the road. You don’t expect to hear a certain joke or expect to see the story go off in a specific direction but it surprises you by doing this exact same thing. This is what makes Plotz so entertaining; it has the ability to constantly surprise you by one upping you at every turn. Throw some subtle comedy and jabs into the mix and you have a film that is hilarious every second of its runtime.

Both Zeke Bluestone & Brandon Olmstead are as talented in front of the camera as they are behind it. While they are not acting here in the traditional sense of the world, it is more of an improv; naturally witty people have a way with making stuff up at runtime that manages to land really well. While the script and performances are on point, equally impressive is the direction. The duo manages to frame the story thematically and narratively really well, culminating in an ending that is both unexpected and fitting to the tone of the story. 

The camera work here gives the film that authentic road trip documentary feel. The boys document their shenanigans with handheld cameras mostly, giving off a docudrama vibe that works really well with the tone of the story. The editing is on point and the film whizzes by, barely stopping to risk being boring. This is in part due to the fantastic pacing that ensures the fun and shenanigans never stop. For a production of its calibre, the sound design is better than okay. Overall, this is a competently made production in all technical respects.

Plotz is part road trip comedy and part bromance. The fact that it balances the two aspects so well is what makes it tick. While Jonah and Liam do not come across as the fun type; like the characters in Superbad, it is exactly these types of people that turn out to be the most witty. Do not let their nerdy demeanour and laid back personas fool you, these people know how to have a good time and they definitely know how to make their audience have a great time as well.

Plotz is thus funny, original and irreverent. Zeke Bluestone & Brandon Olmstead might as well be this decade’s Seth Rogan and James Franco; they both play so well off of each other that most of their jokes land as well as they are supposed to. The film will surprise you in a good way (as it did us) and we would definitely recommend it to watch with your friends.

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