Monday, May 16, 2011

Things Threaten to Boil Over in This New Clip from "Touye Pwen"

Verbal confrontations between characters are an important part of good crime stories.  A big part of intimidation is acting.  Criminals are some of the greatest actors in the world.  You have to be able to convince your opponent of what you’re capable of before you resort to physical violence.  If your prey senses any hesitance or fear in you, your threat will not be taken seriously.  This is key to some of the great staring contests and verbal stand offs in gangster films.  It’s like the calm before the storm.  Sometimes the actual fireworks, which come in the form of action and/or violence, can be anti-climactic after a tense verbal exchange.  R.L. Scott shows his understanding of that philosophy with this latest clip from his highly anticipated web series Touye Pwen.

Detective Ash (Said Faraj) confronts Knight (Shaun Mixon) as he enjoys a quiet meal in his home.  Unimpressed by the detective’s grim demeanor, Knight casually engages him in conversation.  Knight lets Ash know that he has no intention of ever answering for his crimes in a court of law.  He begins to issue thinly veiled threats in the form of philosophical nuggets of wisdom.  Frustrated, Ash responds with aggression.  Knight then reveals something to him that threatens to escalate things beyond mere words.

With this exclusive clip from the episode “Chapter 2: Sins Remembered” a recurring theme begins to surface in the work of R.L. Scott: villains who boldly admit their betrayal to the hero, and dare him to react accordingly.  R.L. Scott’s antagonists wear their arrogance on their sleeves.  They are aware of the power they wield and do not fear reprisal of any sort.  They almost seem amused at the reactions of the betrayed.  

Shaun Mixon as Knight

Call me crazy, but I sense that Detective Ash isn’t exactly an angel.  His demeanor doesn’t suggest a cop that is above cutting corners and the like to get a conviction.  With his pencil thin goatee and slicked back hair, Said Faraj suggests the prototypical cop who straddles the line between himself and the outlaws.  While his rage is more than understandable given Knight’s transgressions against him, he temper seems barely contained for someone who represents the law.  Shaun Mixon is arrogance personified as Knight.  Nothing fazes this guy, whether it’s harsh words or a gun in his face. 

Touye Pwen seems to understand what people want from these kinds of characters and situations.  Instead of offering us the standard mafia clichés in the expected manner, we get characters who speak actual dialogue.  Their words are not awash in excessive profanity or vulgarity.  They are chosen carefully and deliberately.  I’m starting to feel as though there is no way that every single one of these vignettes can be this good.  How many variations on this theme can R.L. Scott come up with?  I haven’t the foggiest, but I’m game to find out.         

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