Director : Joe Brewster
With : Giancarlo Esposito, Regina Taylor
“The Keeper” is a solid little known low-budget New York psychological thriller. The film is shot similarly to a “Hill Street Blues” TV style police drama, with all sorts of quick cuts and sharp fades. It’s plot revolves around a Brooklyn prison guard played convincingly by Giancarlo Esposito, who is studying at night school to become a lawyer so that one day he can make “a difference.” His moralistic attitude towards his fellow guards and the prisoners they abuse, cause Esposito to become afflicted with a sort of double vision. While at the prison he befriends a Haitian prisoner who he believes to be wrongly accused of a rape charge and invites him to stay with he and his wife until he gets back on his feet.
Although the plot seems straight forward at first, the film oozes philosophically into the mind of Esposito’s character as he struggles with the delicate racial issues that arise at the prison and the precarious romantic triangle that begins to take shape while at home. Filmed in a few banal locations in Queens, “The Keeper” is an dark but tightly constructed and imagined film. In a way it watches like one of those TV shows would have been much better if it had been rated R for really Mature Content instead of the watered down versions the networks provide us with. It is the ideas that are the most disturbing and intriguing and when combined with the bleak low-budget Queens landscape “The Keeper” becomes a gripping urban drama.