Amazon's 'Blow The Man Down' Is Original, Expertly-Crafted Mystery Noir Film

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March 19, 2020
Blow The Man Down

Photo: Jeong Park/Copyright: Courtesy of Amazon Studios


If you like Coen Brothers films, you will love the indie-noir film Blow The Man Down, written and directed by Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy. The movie is available on Amazon Prime video on Friday, March 20th.

Weaving in the local flavor of the salty fishing village of Easter Cove, Maine, Blow The Man Down is a murder mystery at its core, that brilliantly follows the story of sisters Mary Beth and Priscilla Connolly after the loss of their mother.

"We had the ambition to tell a big story," co-director (and northeast Ohio native) Danielle Krudy told me in an exclusive interview. "We really thought about how to get a premise that had high stakes and had drama, and it evolved into a 'What would you do for your sister?' tale, and it kind of went from there."

The story starts with the two sisters at odds as they face an uncertain future, and continues to follow them as they come together to cover up a gruesome run-in with a dangerous man. The sisters dig deep into the town's dark secrets, and along the way, discover how matriarchs run the town.

I personally loved the powerful performance of Margo Martindale, who plays Enid, a woman who runs the local bed and breakfast (and brothel), and who has more power than you might suspect.

"Margo is just a national treasure," said Krudy. "She just has so much personality and comedic touch. She brings out her naughtiness and the humanity of this character."

The trio of Susie, Gail, and Doreen (June Squibb, Annette O'Toole, Marceline Hugot), who seem to know everything about everyone in the small town and play crucial roles in the film, are also a joy to watch play out on screen.

"We wanted all the characters to feel like women you could really imagine them being your mother's friend," added Cole. "That they felt familiar, and really grounded and real in this town. We felt like with all three of these women, they brought so much personality, and their own charm.""

Another fun dynamic comes between the cops who are investigating the crime in the small town, who will give you immediate flashbacks to Fargo and the 'Minnesota nice' demeanor of Marge Gunderson. Additionally, the sisters, portrayed by Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe, transform from vulnerable to decisive as the narrative plays out.

"What this movie does is let you underestimate these women, and then you realize there is so much more than meets the eye," Cole said.

The young women's brilliant performances did not go unnoticed, with the added dynamic of dim and gray visuals of a quintessential northeast fishing town The Maine backdrop undoubtedly made the film feel dark, in the most effective of ways.

"We shot March in Maine, in a town called Harpswell, Maine," said co-director Bridget Cole. "The weather was hard on the crew and the shooting ... but was good for the film. You really feel the weather in the movie and that's what its really like to be in Maine. Weather is a big character up there."

As the film ends in as much of a mystery as it started, the weather and bleak grayness of Maine play out in beautiful tandem on screen.

"For Cleveland people, the only place you could really rival is maybe Maine, in terms of winter," added Krudy. "It really was that hardcore."

The narrative becomes persuasive as the movies plays out, as you can see the role of how a woman's mystery and power can influence a society.

The film's brilliant screenplay also has extremely fun moments. The interwoven shots of brilliantly sung sea shanties from an 'authentic' New England fisherman in Blow The Man Down will undoubtedly leave an impact on you.

David Coffin, a maritime educator and sea shanty expert, lent his voice to the film to sing in the intercut scenes.

"We just loved that he has this soulful voice, but also masculine," the co-directors added. "You can really believe him as this really salt-of-the earth Maine guy."

As mentioned earlier, co-writer and co-director Danielle Krudy is a northeast Ohio native, originally from Shaker Heights! 

"The Cedar Lee Theatre had always been my go-to for seeing movies that really shaped me when I was younger," Krudy told me. "Cedar Lee just felt cool ... that was where cool movies came out that were foreign or off the beaten path. That was a big part of it."

Listen to my interview with the two extremely talented women in the podcast below.

Blow The Man Down stars Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe and Margo Martindale, and will be available on Prime Video on March 20th.