The Dust Storm (2016)

‘The Dust Storm’ is a romantic drama based around two people, Brennan (played by the one and only Killian Jones, ie. Captain Hook from ‘Once Upon a Time’ – Colin O’Donoghue) and Nora (Kristen Gutoskie). Seven years since they’ve seen each other and a lot has changed, however, their lives take a turn for the past when they bump into each other in Nashville. For the next couple of days they are living in a world they thought they’d left behind, but the present seems to be getting in the way making things considerably complicated and the future is even looming.

The film starts seven years in the past, even before the title, the life of Brennan, a desperate man clinging onto the music business. From this flashback we get the feeling Brennan is expressing a lot of pain and some sort of attachment to his last song of his set, one no other, called ‘Nora’. Then the title comes and we’re in the present. Nothing of Nora yet, but we follow the life of Brennan to start with. To say he looks different would be an understatement, but then again it has been seven years and of course the audience need to see this dramatic change. As seven years has jumped on, the audience need to be able to understand why it was so important to see the flashback to begin with and as the film proceeds we learn about Brennan in a very clever way. His past coming into his present. As he lingers around people singing and playing instruments we know straight away he is no longer in the music business, yet he misses it. Then in comes Nora, a woman from his past, and one who seems to have a big hold on his heart. Therefore, bringing in the romantic element of the drama.


Once Nora is introduced, the audience know considerably more than the characters on screen. We see things from both people’s perspectives, which creates a complication for the audience. Nora’s life is so much more complicated than Brennan knows, which I found created more of a tense drama, which I found quite clever. The drama proceeds and the audience feel like things aren’t going to stay in the clouds, we know something is going to hit a rock, the future is lingering and Nora’s present cannot be hidden for too much longer. I found myself hooked onto when things were going to be found out and the truth comes about, but what surprised me the most, is the audience is tricked into knowing everything, however more is revealed than initially thought.


I loved the use of the camera and I loved the use of other musicians. Firstly, the editing and the camera use was very clever. There were many times where the audience were left with what was being said in the present, which blended into the background, to being shown something to happen in the near future. It was brilliant in creating a warped interlink of the past and the present as the whole film resembles this story arc anyway. There were also some other edits that froze the screen for a couple of seconds, a great sequence in the middle of the film, it added to the drama genre of the film really well. Secondly, throughout the film we witness many different musicians around Nashville playing their songs, either in bars or on the street. It was a fun element, which again all tied into both of the main characters pasts.

‘The Dust Storm’ is a clever and brilliantly put together film. A romantic drama of two past lovers, however so much more is said underneath. And I tell you something, Colin O’Donoghue plays a great pirate but he also played this character brilliantly as well. Anyway, aren’t you a little curious in how the past, present and future can get warped into one weekend in Nashville?


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