Trigger, a film by Bruce McDonald, with Tracy Wright, Molly Parker

16 August 2011

Trigger (trailer), a comedy drama, is the latest feature of Canadian film director Bruce McDonald (The Tracey Fragments, Pontypool). The story traces the reunion of two indie-rockers, Kat (Molly Parker), a bass player and vocalist, and Vic (the late Tracy Wright), who once performed together in a two-piece band called Trigger.

Trigger, which premiered in Australia at the Canadian Film Festival in Sydney on Wednesday, 10 August, 2011, picks up the story of the two band members ten years after their acrimonious on-stage split. They have accepted an invitation to perform at a Women in Rock tribute show taking place in Toronto, their hometown.

Kat has since relocated to Los Angeles where she works in marketing, but often travels to Toronto for work. The two have arranged to meet for dinner in the restaurant of the five-star hotel where Kat is staying. Vic however is less than impressed with the extravagant setting of their first face-to-face meeting since the band broke up.

While past tensions quickly surface, it isn’t long before some traces of their earlier, close if turbulent, friendship comes to light. While Vic is happy to go along to the tribute show, she is not so willing to perform, even though Kat promised organisers they would. The show however soon rouses happy memories of their on-stage hey-day.

While reacquainting themselves with former associates, both come to the doleful realisation that they cannot reclaim their old lives. This is brought home by the fact friends have moved on, become older, more conservative, and are even driving hybrid vehicles, surely a contravention of the hard living, hard playing, rock ethos.

Despite having been apart Kat and Vic learn they have had a number of similar experiences, including having dealt with substance abuse issues, which both seem to have overcome. But just as the two are beginning to warm to each other again, Vic then learns that there is just a little more to the tribute show than meets the eye…

Trigger is a slice-of-life drama featuring just two central characters, and covers a only small period of time, in much the same way as Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset and Before Sunrise films, and plays out over the course of a single night. This however gives Kat and Vic plenty of time to try and make sense of their post-band lives.

Trigger isn’t all introspection though, and features a stirring performance reminiscent of the band during its peak, plus flashback glimpses of the friendship of Kat and Vic in earlier days. This is a story that anyone who has had the dream, or once lived the dream, and now finds life to be a little quieter, will be all too familiar with.

Originally published Tuesday 16 August 2011.


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