Harpoon is a film about three friends: 'sad sack' Jonah, 'rich asshole' Richard, and 'peacemaker' Sasha. The boys are best friends and after a nasty fight, Richard offers a day trip on his yacht. Once at sea, the trio finds themselves stranded with no food, water or radio for help. Psychosis sets in as they all begin to physically and mentally wilt, weakening their long-time friendship in the process. Rob Grant wrote and directed the 2019 feature.
You're my boy, Blue! Harpoon opens with a shot of a yacht and the word "SOS" written on it, while the narrator explains Aristotle's philosophy of three types of friendship. The narrator then suggests a fourth type of friendship, one founded upon history. You are friends with a person simply because you have always been friends. Within seconds, you know Harpoon's central focus: the deterioration of a friendship with history. It also doesn't take long for viewers to grasp the toxicity of the friendship displayed. The first time we see the trio together is when Richard is beating Jonah to a pulp, believing he has slept with Sasha. Harpoon is a character-driven film and it's both the depth of and portrayal of these characters that keeps the film afloat. Grant does well exposing each character's transgressions, all the while shifting our sympathy from one character to the next.
Are you there God? It's me, Harpoon. Finding a tonal balance can be difficult when more than one genre is present; there's a fine line to avoid teetering too heavily into one sector. Harpoon uses Brett Gelman as narrative glue, ensuring that the film's tone doesn't miss a beat. His snarky narration points out various nautical superstitions and gives the character backstories that explain the trio's dynamic. Grant's use of Gelman's narration works because of the satirical tone. Without it, the irony just goes over your head, the film loses that comedic relief and wallows in its own darkness.
Overall, this is a strong, well-paced indie feature. The script is smart and engaging, keeping you on edge from beginning to end. Each scene is filled with humor and tension, which is also thanks to the great performances of the cast. Christopher Gray, Munro Chambers, and Emily Tyra are great and the chemistry between the three is live. They all have a gross dependency on one another that only heightens their genuine dislike toward one another as shit hits the fan. At times, Grant's editing can be uneven, but not to a point where it is distracting. He intercuts quirky b-roll to keep the film fresh and not bogged down by the confined set.