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'Overcast' - MiamisFF Review

The makings of a great midseason filler episode that would connect in many different directions. This is a police drama filler with a guest director.

A Solid Police Drama Episode

The big budget, professional feeling of Overcast seems to be its blessing and curse. Lourdes Roche’s short film feels like a solid filler episode of a long-running detective series. It feels like Roche has been a part of the production and has been allowed to be a guest director for an episode. As an executive director, we see that Roche has studied well. The mise-en-scene is spot-on. Viewers begin the film with the telltale signs of a murder mystery: darkness/night setting, police lights slicing through the moody atmosphere, stunned onlookers, all ready to be moved aside when our hardboiled detective duo hits the scene. They are both instantly annoyed with the arrival of a fresh-faced, just graduated new officer who seems overly ambitious for seasoned pros.

That is where things can be tricky. The story proceeds with familiar police show beats: a missing girl, a bloody bleached bathroom indicating murder and coverup, no body, red herrings like a jealous fiancé and bad boy ex, sepia-colored flashbacks, and a gruff relationship between our two lead detectives. We see our lead detective wrestling with his mortality and being vulnerable. Even down to the tv-style investigation, where the detectives fail to secure the crime scene. It all works well as a narrative (though the ending felt a bit sudden, but not unexpected). But it also just feels like a midseason episode in a longer arc of Criminal Law & Minds Order: Cold Cases. That is the duality, it feels like a solid, professional effort that stops short of being a knockout.

Overcast has the big-budget feeling of a police drama show. A large credit for this feeling goes to Oscar Corbella, a seasoned actor who died in June 2022, making this one of his last films. A cursory look into the filmography of Corbella shows that he was most at home in crime and police dramas. He starred in Miami Heat (2021), Burn Notice (2007), and Meeting Juan Jones among many other credits. He lends his professionalism, alongside the rest of the cast, to a solid effort by Lourdes Roche. The movie is dedicated to Oscar Corbella’s memory.

pictured is Oscar Corbella, 1951 to 2022.

May he rest in peace.