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ABOUT RETAKE

With a seductive gravitational allure, RETAKE pulls viewers into a world of love, loss, and intrigue from its opening scenes. Handsome businessman Jonathan (Tuc Watkins) has returned to San Francisco with a mission. He’s on the hunt for a brunette who is “rough around the edges,” temperamental, and scented with just the right cologne. Cruising the streets of the city, he finds what he’s looking for in a flirtatious young hustler played by Devon Graye, and a bold proposition is made: If this young man agrees to accompany Jonathan on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, he’ll get double his nightly rate, plus $1,000. But, there’s a catch: He has to role-play as someone named “Brandon” for the full ride. Eager to leave his life on the streets, he says yes, and an amorous game of manipulation and obsession commences. So begins the ambitious, risk-taking first feature by Nick Corporon, a film of romance and brooding suspense, with shades of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. The mystery of the real Brandon haunts the film for its duration. As the role-playing intensifies, the what and the who become captivatingly confused, as lines between fantasy and reality, desire and performance, blur. This is a perverse scenario, for sure, but these are also wayward souls, and their wounded humanity evokes genuine empathy. Grounded in the intimate complexities of authentic human relationships, RETAKE is a spellbinding journey of heartbreak and self-discovery. — Curran Nault

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