A butterfly repeatedly flutters throughout this well-meaning indie drama with all the subtlety of a giant, blinking neon sign proclaiming its themes of hope and redemption. “Lost Fare” wants to inspire, but its attempts gets mired in a leaden script.
At just 11 years old, Freda (Alexis Rosinsky) has lived a tougher life than most adults. Her prostitute mother (Anita Leeman Torres) considers her a burden and has no issue when her pimp, Sonny (Jason Ambrose), wants to bring her daughter into the business. With the help of suicidal cab driver Jack (Aaron Hendry) and a girl only she can see (Annabelle Kavanagh), Freda escapes Sonny’s grasp, but the pimp is unwilling to let Freda and Jack go so easily.
Director and co-writer Bruce Logan doesn’t have a lot of experience helming features, but cinematography, visual effects and second unit credits including “Tron,” “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” mean that “Lost Fare” generally looks solid. The special effects aren’t great and are overly ambitious for a movie of this size, but the film’s washed-out cinematography from Aitor Uribarri works well for the tumbledown setting and gritty tone.
Co-written by Rachel Reaugh, “Lost Fare” aims to tell a story that’s at once dark and heartwarming, but it never balances these two contrasting ideas. There is genuine feeling here, but the dialogue and plot make the proceedings plodding and contrived.
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: Starts Sept. 7, Arena Cinelounge, Los Angeles