Short Film Review “The Convict”

The Convict3 The Convict1 The Convict2



First, the Recap:

When there’s a desire so intensely burning within your being that you’d gamble your freedom, even your life itself, to see it come to fruition, how could anyone or anything stand in your way? Even when the choices made in a haze of desperation aren’t advised, still you press on. Overthinking things or not thinking through them enough is a now-bygone opportunity for escaped con David Eller (Dean Temple). Having already paid a price for his decision to forcefully leave his incarceration, initial mending of wounds is paramount as he makes his way towards an ultimate destination.

Attempting to stay as much under the radar as possible, both present news coverage along with his own inner recollections showcase events that had lead up to his criminality and subsequent fleeing of imprisonment.  Still in dire straits walking out on open road in harsh elements, Eller’s luck seems to change when a passing pick-up truck stops.  The driver, Buddy (Travis Mitchell), reluctantly agrees to take Eller to the town he’s vying for, the former not realizing what manner of man he has occupying his vehicle. Finally arriving at his intended locale, it is left to decide whether Eller’s endeavor was worth the costs incurred to get there.

Next, my Mind:

This 21-minute short film from writer/director/producer/cinematographer/editor Mark Battle is more than worthy to be considered and applauded.  Like Battle’s more recent effort, “Here Lies Joe“, the film flaunts its raw, unvarnished nature to a “T”, providing an uncomplicated, engaging, and in depth character-driven scenario with smart pacing, straightforward cinematography, and intelligent execution. The viewer might see Eller’s actions as both good and bad, understood yet ill-advised, somewhat disturbed, yet heartfelt as he navigates the decisions made to reach the finale, his fate not totally known.

As he so effectively did in the aforementioned “Joe”, actor Dean Temple takes the role of Eller and owns it, enacting a picture of a man whose absolute commitment in heart, mind, and soul actually has the best of intentions, though the path to reach those is paved in completely wrong designs and tactics. Yet, Temple infuses Eller with such an impassioned resolve by the climax, that when one sees why the character’s made this arduous trek, you can’t help but feel at least a modicum of sympathy for him.

Mitchell has a short but pivotal role here as Buddy, Eller’s unsuspecting good Samaritan, whose “everyman” manner and deed is actually utilized to place an all-too-potent actuality on the situation involved, while emphasizing the true measure of Eller’s intent on reaching his purpose. Additional supporting, and no less crucial, turns are provided by Suzanne Bryan and Robin Ann Rapoport while others such as Michael Anthony Coppola, Kim Gordon, and others appear as well. In total, “The Convict” stands firm as a simple, clear, accessible feature from the independent world where storytelling and characters reign supreme, while perhaps making us wonder exactly what lengths would we ourselves would go to to reach an unpredictable, yet calculated, objective.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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