Fantasia 2015: A Review of ‘Cash Only’

Posted in Fantasia 2015, Festival Coverage, Movies by - July 26, 2015
Fantasia 2015: A Review of ‘Cash Only’

Cash Only takes us to the swagger filed mean streets of Detroit with a uniquely cultural and visually brutal bent.

Every day is a goddamn grind, and that couldn’t be truer for Elvis Martini (Nickola Shreli) who is just in the worst kinds of deep shit. He owes money, lots of it. The broken down apartment building that he owns is about to be foreclosed on by the bank and that is the least of his problems, until he finds a stash of cash in the apartment of a recently evicted tenant. He thinks he’s turned his luck around and kept the sharks at bay…that is until something even nastier bubbles up from the underworld looking for his money back!

With a gritty neon glow, Cash Only is the kind of movie that just won’t hesitate to kick you square in the nuts as we dive into the unique Armenian underbelly of a city that we never want to find ourselves in.

Director Malik Bader crafts a rich tapestry of dirt, grit and despair in the life of man who can’t find away ahead in life after he deals with the tragic loss of his wife. It’s an emotionally engaging slow burn of a story that you just can’t look away from as every frame is simply dripping with character. Bader and Star/Screenwriter Shreli make this world come alive with a natural and compelling sense of attitude and self awareness of the universe that they are existing in.

Shreli makes this all work so well with his natural presence and on screen charisma crafting his Elvis into a tragic, likeable soul that you wouldn’t want to fuck with on any given day. He’s lived these emotions in his regular life and he translates it to the screen with shocking ease like a young DeNiro in his hey day.

Cash Only feels like the kind of movie that Mean Streets was for Martin Scorsese was back in the day as I can’t wait to see what all of the talented souls behind this movie get up to next.

This post was written by
David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.