Top Floor (I) (2013)

  |  Short, Drama


When Ron, a high powered hedge fund manager, finds out that his biggest investor may be pulling out of the fund, his world begins to collapse on him, as he juggles fatherhood, his ex-wife, and one very big secret.

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17 March 2014 | bob the moo
Really well shot piece with a strong character at the core
It is important to mention that Top Floor is a student film – not because this somehow needs to be considered in order to forgive it its shortcomings, but rather it should be mentioned because otherwise you'll not ever think that it is one. The reason for this is that the film is really well put together from the ideas through to the delivery. The story centers around a character who is a fund manager who is has hit a hard time and is seeing his investors threatening to pull out which will ultimately see his already perilously balanced house of cards totally collapse. Good, I hear the majority of viewers say with one voice – because most of us will not struggle with the idea that those responsible for the financial collapses should be caught up in it just like the rest of us, instead of seeming to have their own set of rules.

That the film overcomes this feeling is to its credit because, while it doesn't make us love Ron for who he is or what he does, it does at least let us appreciate what he is going through – even though at the same time we may also think he deserves whatever bad fortune befalls him. This balance is well kept and it is helped by the film showing him as a father and person for a lot of the film, because we do relate to his fear of losing everything. The unfinished Central Park apartment is a nice visual metaphor for the wider world of finance and Ron's bluffing is well played out.

The cinematography is very professional and the film looks great throughout – helped too by the really great locations they have to work with, but it is still an engaging piece. Lawson in the lead is very good and takes off the front very effectively to let us in at the real person as directly and quickly as is necessary. He is the heart of the film as a character and he does it well. His core character both repels because we know the nature of the world he is working in but at the same time we feel a certain amount of pain for him as the wheels come off and he tries to hold it together.

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Short | Drama

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