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‘Lost Soulz’ makes sense of its mistakes

Sauve Sidle in Lost Soulz
Tallgrass Film Festival
Sauve Sidle in Lost Soulz

Let’s start with a baseball metaphor: About halfway into the new movie Lost Soulz, I was enjoying it so much that I felt like my team was protecting a slim lead in the playoffs, but I had an uncertain bullpen and no idea if we were going to be able to hold on until the end.

And then my already questionable metaphor completely fell apart, because the movie actually did a number of the things I was afraid it would do that I thought would sink the whole thing, but by that time they simply made sense.

We meet an aspiring hip hop musician in Texas named Sol who's performing at a party when the cops bust the place up and he gets rescued by a group of musicians who are about to hit the road. They ask Sol to come along, and it's pretty clear he doesn't have a lot else going on in his life, so he goes, though in doing so he leaves behind his best friend, who's just collapsed at the party.

On the road is where we spend almost all of our time, and this is something that can lose its luster quickly. But director and writer Katherine Propper is either extraordinarily good at naturalistic dialogue and pulling wholly real performances out of actors, or she just let the camera roll while the musicians in the van traveled, met people, found weird things to do, and lived life. It’s not always fun to be with young people who are mostly just kidding around and doing drugs and thinking and doing and saying the things many of us have already done, but so much of this feels like a peek into their real lives, and Propper paces it so well, that we simply begin to get with the movie's vibe, and we don't really want to leave.

And of course I worried all along that some manufactured events might pop in to cause some drama… and they do! And it doesn't matter. When things really do get difficult later in the movie, we feel for Sol and for the people he cares about. Because by then, we believe it.

Lost Soulz is on VOD.

Fletcher Powell has worked at KMUW since 2009 as a producer, reporter, and host. He's been the host of All Things Considered since 2012 and KMUW's movie critic since 2016. Fletcher is a member of the Critics Choice Association.