As seen at the 2006 Dances With Films Festival. Movie review by Ester Molayeme.
Premiering at the Dances With Films Festival, Fierce Friend is an edge of the seat thriller that will take you through a chilling ride into the mind of a sociopath.
There is nothing Patrick Aiken (Kevin Kelly) wouldn’t do for his childhood friend Bobby Lindsay (Les Borsay), an aspiring actor living rent-free in Patrick’s house. After all, helping each other is what friends do.
When Bobby meets his soul mate, the beautiful and sweet April Cooper (Kelly Pendygraft), the balance in the friendship between Patrick and Bobby becomes understandably altered, but not so for Patrick who gradually begins to compete for time with Bobby, against April.
Kevin Kelly, writer/executive producer/actor, delivers an outstanding performance with a distinctively effective character transformation of Patrick from a normal to an increasingly dark and obsessed individual.
The movie excels in its portrayal of a sociopath’s hold to a childhood friendship. Kevin, who co-wrote the script with Matthew Martinez, relates that his character is “a loyal friend” explaining that “Patrick had few friends growing up, but when he made one, he stuck with that person. Unfortunately, that loyalty turns into obsession. He's just looking for love and acceptance like we all are, but he doesn't know how to operate within societal norms.”
“Friends, relationships, and love are important” explains Kevin, “but it's important that you love yourself first. I think my character doesn't have much love for himself and, as a result, he doesn't know how to properly express it to others.”
Although his role in Fierce Friend is very dramatic, Kevin has “a knack for comedy.” Kevin explains, “I loved the challenge. But I also like the comedic roles. I just wrote a comedy feature, and I'm currently working on another one.”
Kelly Pendygraft, already an accomplished actress, jumps from her traditional supporting roles to her first leading role in Fierce Friend. Some may have seen Kelly in numerous TV commercials. With her contagious smile she charms not only Bobby but the audience as well, delivering a terrific performance of April Cooper. As Bobby’s girlfriend, April “seems to know what she wants and how to get it, but yet, things go in the wrong direction because she is mostly concerned with herself and getting what she wants”. Kelly explains, that her character communicates “a simple love. A love that isn't complicated and one that protects the people she loves most, including herself.”
In real life “Kevin and I have been friends for many years, almost 15 years” says Les Borsay. Fierce Friend “sprang from several years of living with his friend and his friend’s girlfriend” explains Kevin. However, Kevin cautions that “Fierce Friend is fiction. In real life, Kevin never had thoughts of killing his friend’s girlfriend. Well, not too often anyway.”
On the other hand, Bobby’s character, explains Les Borsay, “is, at the core, a good and loyal friend. Even when confronted by some of the things that Patrick is doing, he still defends him to April. He genuinely loves his friend despite what he sees as "quirks". It's more a refocusing his attention onto his new girlfriend that causes Patrick to sense a loss of friendship, where Bobby really sees no loss of friendship. I really hope that the audience comes away feeling that Bobby is not just blind to Patrick's obsession, but is ruled by his loyalty to his childhood friend.”
Delivering convincing performances are Thyme Lewis, as the gay friend Roy Keller, whose credits include “Days of Our Lives” and “Sunset Beach”, and Erin Torpey, from the daytime serial “One Life To Live”, as the friend Megan.
“Fierce Friend was exactly the story I was looking to do” states director Jacob Cooney in his feature film debut, “I was ready for something dark, something a little weird, and I found that in Fierce Friend.”
There were many engaging topics in the script that captured director Cooney, especially “dealing with obsession, abandonment, and loss of friendship. All were things I found extremely interesting, but never really have had to deal with. It was the right mood, the right tone, and the right time to tackle something like this and I found myself really getting into it.”
Music by composer Dave Shephard, and sound mixer Joe Milner effectively build up the chilling suspense.
Fierce Friend is the second feature film, and the first film that will premiere under the Wonder Entertainment banner, of producer Jane Kelly Kosek, sister of Kevin Kelly. Jane is currently developing Jacob Cooney’s follow-up film “Eighty-Six,” is in post production on “The Frolic” and is executive producing “Tennessee,” starring Mariah Carey. Fierce Friend is “a great film by great people” says Jane, “and will offer a great experience to all who see it. We hope you agree! Cheers!”