Details

Director: Oliver Parker Producer: Peter La Terriere Year: 1996 Running time: 11 minutes Cast: Nathaniel Parker as Ross, Ciaran Hinds as Brackpool, Anna Patrick as Lady, Paul Williams as Young Man, Paul Higgins as Hostage and Charlie Mole as Jogger.

 

 

 

 

Plot Summary

A young man (Ross) is looking for his way in the streets of London. Ross seems to be a normal guy in casual wear and is about to go somewhere. While trying to find his destination, he chooses to take a short cut by walking down a narrow lane. He meets a well-dressed bearded man half way though that lane who suddenly has a heart-attack. The unknown man dies in the arms of Ross who is quite helpless in his efforts to save him. Suddenly a mobile phone starts ringing in the pockets of the expensive suit of that dead man. Ross chooses to answer the call. At first he seems to want to call for help or to try to find out who that passer-by was - but he doesn't get a chance to get his thoughts straight. A voice tells him to be right on time for an appointment and that he'll get his diamonds then. Well he'd better not be too curious. But the way things are the way things are. So Ross knows that his dead acquaintance had an appointment. And Ross chooses to follow a new plan for his evening after hearing that his dead fellow was about to receive diamonds. That sounds like a great opportunity and Ross takes a second short cut, he switches clothes, puts his old clothes on the dead man, gets himself a clean shave and sizes the day by turning up at 17:30 prompt at the meeting point. He wants the dead man's diamonds. What Ross doesn't know is that his dead friend in that lonely lane was a hit man who was about to get his briefing for his next job: kill an unknown man that's now sitting in the back of that car Ross has just entered. Ross meets three people in that car: a blindfold man, a thug and a lady. The lady tells him that he'll get his "pay" once he's done his job - and that is killing that blindfold man who's still very alive.

Ross drives off and doesn't know how to kill that man. The lady gave him a gun, but Ross obviously is unable to kill anybody. He's stuck between a rock and a hard place. Suddenly he remembers: he stumbled over a dead body, right? Right! So, he makes his "would - be" victim help him changes clothes once more: now the heart-attack victim is wearing the dinner suit of the "kill-that-man", who doesn't know what strikes him. Both stow away the corpse in the trunk. The supposed victim is glad to run away alive with Ross' shabby clothes. Ross gets back to his second date for this evening. Finally he holds the diamonds in his hands, but the lady is distrustful and wants to take a look at the face of her victim. She realizes that the bearded corpse isn't who she wanted to have killed. Ross manages to get into the car before the angry client can get hold of him, but he gets shot while driving off at high speed. Ross is driving through the night, he tries to hold on to his new treasure, but the gunshot wound proves deadly. In the last sequence we'll observe a jogger who finds a car with an open trunk (a dead man in a dinner suit in it) and a shot driver who's holding a small bursa filled with diamonds. A mobile phone rings, the jogger tries to answer the call and gets a message: you've got the diamonds, we've got the money. The jogger takes a nervous look around to check if anyone has seen him so far…. End of story.

General Review

The plot reminds me a bit of a Roald Dahl approach to telling short-stories with a nasty twist with a slight touch of film noir flavoured with a moral message. Ross is the young man who takes one short cut too many: Moral? By changing your clothes you still aren't what you'd like to be. By running after fast money you'll be on the losing track. By not using your head you're about to lose it faster than you might like. Still, although that jogger must realize that the diamonds are the reason for two dead men, he is tempted to make an easy buck. Just like dead Ross was. Message understood? The short film is made with a remarkable effort to make it look professional, camera and décor are alright. No big cinematographic knick-knacks, handheld camera within the first sequences, but nothing unsettling. The film itself really hasn't much dialogue, you'll get the plot simply by observing what's happening. An entertaining short film, you'll be sitting in your chair and wanting to know what will happen next. Mission accomplished when thinking in short film terms. If Oliver Parker would have wanted more, he might have turned this into a dark legend tale; say the lady and her thug are demon-like characters who'll hunt the next greedy victim in a nameless huge nightly city, something like that (ohhh I can clearly see the X-Files sneaking around the corner here). But the message remains: It is the free will of that jogger to decide what he's going to do next. And Ross simply wasn't lucky enough to succeed. So, sorry no demonic forces, no gothic tales, just a dirty small story of avidity in metropolis.

Nat's Review

Nat plays Ross, he's looking a bit shabby at the start and as I mentioned before there isn't that much dialogue here. Nat has to appear very frightened here (yep angst driven) and I do think that in comparison to "Never come Back", he does handle this expression much better. He is very convincing as the young greedy lad who's far beyond his capabilities. Trying to be a crook is one thing, but being a killer is definitely not within the power of Ross. Given the fact that he doesn't have much time to display this character and almost no text to carry that role, the result is remarkable. Camera, light and cut support this brilliantly. A nice finger exercise.

Trivia

Anna Patrick plays the lady who wants Ross to kill a man, very cool performance here! She is able to portray an evil character very convincingly... Plus: Charlie Mole, Oliver's "home" soundtrack composer, plays the jogger - completely equipped with a walkman.

 

Status

Not issued

 

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