30 April 2008 | bob the moo
Strong film due to convincing and well-delivered character observations
A man, Joseph, starts to come to a point of self-realisation about the effect that his violent and racist tendencies have on others and on himself when his rage sees him kicking his dog to the point of near death after a row in a pub. This BAFTA-winning short film from actor Paddy Considine was his directorial debut and was a personal film that he apparently wrote in only a few hours. This is not a fault with it because it appears that the character of Joseph was based on some of his father's characteristics and in this regard he was able to put them into actions easily enough.
The short film is all about the character of Joseph and his struggle to try and stop being the person that he is. In this story it is about his violent temper and so on but it could easily be about other things because as anyone with a "bad habit" knows, it is very difficult to know when you are doing it and therefore be able to stop it. Whether it be sarcasm, rudeness or something else, it often takes extremes to push oneself to the point of realising that it needs to change. The film captures this very well but it does help to have Mullan in the cast because this sort of character and setting is his bread and butter.
I don't mean to suggest that it was easy for anyone but Considine did say that he probably wouldn't have done the film without Mullan and you can understand why. His performance is really strong and the rage, self-loathing and lack of control are all plain to be seen in his eyes and body language. Considine directs well, with plenty of well-framed shots to draw the viewer into the film. I wasn't totally sure about the redemptive part of his film but I still found it to be a very well drawn character that made for a strong film. Not the most cheerful thing but still a very good short film.