When "The Drifter" came out I was, well, a little disappointed. It had some great waves and some great parts, but as a whole it fell a little short. The second film to come out of Drifter Productions delivers a different feel. While "The Drifter" has a tough time figuring out what style it wants to fit in "Melali" blurs the line between two distinct styles, The Surf Industry Production and The Soulful Gaze*. To simplify that it mixes Poor Specimen with Woodshed, think "Stranger than Fiction" meets "Sprout." The cinematography captures the light, colors and action, thank you Todd Heater (same Director of Photography as "Sipping Jetstreams" and "Castles in the Sky") with amazing style. The surfing is top notch and takes the front seat unlike its predecessor, so what is the issue you might ask? With the action of Taylor Steele's early films with the artistic tendencies of Chris Malloy you think it might be a great surf flick, until you realize that your average show on Fuel TV is longer. I was a little hurt on that one. Couldn't you have at least thrown some bonus footage on the disc? With that said "Melali" is a fun little flick that adds some beautiful surf footage to your collection, go grab a copy.
* Adapted from Nick Carroll's "The Big Picture" article in Surfing Magazine Nov. 2007