11 November 2015 | MwabaNgwisha
Heart-Warming and Melancholy with a Good Dash of Comedy
Gin and Dry is a heart warming short, a successful combination of comedy, drama and tragedy set against what could be a rather depressing backdrop, a retirement home. The film presents a burst of life; a group of child like pensioners staging a heist to save Christmas, or at least to make sure the holiday is a boozy occasion. This short being only 15 minutes results in a series of concise shots and smart story telling. Opening with a sequence of beautifully shot close ups, the film maintains a warm tone, the pink and brown hues of Twin Willows, the soft lighting of Albie's room and out of focus Christmas lights. The simple soundtrack of Billie Holiday's I'll Be Seeing You is perfectly suited. David de Keyser's performance as our protagonist Albie is outstanding. Although we are only given a brief insight into his life, the audience is drawn in to really care for him. Albie's war references and musing on life drawing to a close, bring a melancholy air to Gin and Dry, making it much more than a short about an elderly bunch stealing alcohol. Although the heist is not overly developed, development of this scene would likely have brought more comic value to the film, this short's progression into a sentimental piece feels quite natural. Steering clear of cheap laughs but providing comic relief Gin and Dry is an extremely moving piece, a poignant look at the last years of life. Dealing with memory and the emotions of a group who are often forgotten about, Gin and Dry should not be dismissed as just a sugary Christmas film, and is most certainly worth watching.