What happens when a picture perfect 1950's family discovers that Calvin, their lovable S&M gimp, has run away from home and headed for the big city?
Written By: Andrew Lawton
Directed By: Andrew Lawton
After reading the description of this short film I can probably guess what you're thinking. S&M? What kind of film is this? I can honestly say I wasn't quite sure what to expect myself... or more to the point, I thought I knew exactly what to expect. Let me just write that "Have You Seen Calvin?" is not that; and I had a blast watching it. Andrew Lawton has managed to turn on it's head our preconceived notion of what this film probably should be, with an excellent idea and some funny writing. However, this flick could have went either way... there's no doubt about that. A less gifted writer or director could have easily produced a lame or vulgar film using the exact same content as a guide. Not here though, not at all. I also realize a few people may regard my rating as maybe a little generous... and maybe it is. However, if you're judging my rating after reading the description I invite you to wait, and watch for yourself. If after that, you still think I'm being a little generous, my personal rating, aside from being personal, came down to one thing. All else aside, one factor that is rock solid one hundred percent, is the entertainment factor. I was completely entertained for the entire 18 minutes this film played. When it's all said and done, any technical issues or questionable content that this film may have contained took a back seat. If you are entertained and amused... what else could you ask for? "Have You Seen Calvin?" was a refreshing escape for my mind... and the fact it is actually funny is the gravy on the potatoes.
Generally here I would write a little on the technical elements of this film. Maybe drop a comment about some shoddy audio or less than stellar video. I'm very happy to write that this film was put together exceptionally well for an indie production. I have no real complaints. Technically, "Have You Seen Calvin?" is a solid picture, although maybe a little short. I would have loved to have seen a few more minutes of our lovable friend in black. It would be no stretch to, at some point see more of our little friend. Maybe... Calvin Goes To Hollywood? I know I'd be game for a serious sit-down.
A few things I really liked were the visual and social references to the 1950's perfect home, while at the same time mixing it up with modern fare. It really made for a fun experience, both with the dialog and the set pieces themselves. The corn ball acting was brilliant at times, perfectly translating the potentially dull or morbid humor on paper, to a full out belly laugh onscreen. But who really manages to capture our heart with some splendid acting? Calvin himself of course. For a character with no real lines to deliver, Ted Lewis, as Calvin, manages to drum up some genuine feelings from the viewer... mainly with his eyes. Expression acting at it's finest. I could take my opinion a step farther, and say everything right down to the posture of Mr. Lewis felt perfect for the character... but mainly, the eyes had it. With all that said let me just add one thing that I would have liked to see... maybe a single line or word, delivered at the end of the film by Calvin would have been... awesome.
At the end of the day, "Have You Seen Calvin?" probably made my week. It's unusual premise, mixed with actual humor make sure this one rises to the top of the heap. After watching, I still find it hard to believe that such a "taboo" styled character could end up being so likable. For that alone ladies and gents, this short film deserves some applause. So let me sum things up here: It's not what you think... and you'll be happy you came.
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