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Luca Pizzoleo's 'West of Calico` follows the story of two brothers who go across America in search of gold. The year is 1849, and the setting is in today's California, thirty miles away from Calico, a city that will become extremely important in the following years. The brother's Bo (played by Raz Fritz) and Wyatt (played by Ryan Emilio Molina) Brooks are camping overnight in the deserted place. The fire is slowly burning, and the brothers are sitting in silence. At some point, Bo asks Wyatt a question, and they start talking without any rush. They talk about a story their father used to say and go on to what they will do when they strike gold. Back in the day, the gold rush was a big thing, and they were two of the many others trying to find fortune by mistake. Their conversation goes south very fast, and suddenly Wyatt finds himself alone, chasing something that wasn't there, looking for real valuables but only finding fool’s gold.

Luca Pizzoleo's short manages to comprise a story of generations in nearly ten minutes. Simultaneously, the whole script is an excellent piece of fiction and a history lesson for the ones that are not accustomed to such stories. The setting is impeccable, raising the viewer's expectations and then giving the sweet relief in a bizarre and unexpected, yet flawless way. Raz Fritz brings to the table a character who knows how unpredictable life can be and is both cynical but a little bit hopeful in finding the precious metals. On the other hand, Molina portrays a character that puts all of his eggs in one basket, following potential happiness without doing some further research. He seems a little bit desperate in pursuing his dreams, and precisely this kind of desperation is the one that keeps him going strong. 

 

'West of Calico' is like a Belgian praline – it has the softcore of history covered in a blend of fiction, which is the perfect mix if you are looking for the best in both worlds.

Written by Vlad A. G