A window into the lives of two Brothers burdened with the care of their abusive mother. On his wedding day, Younger chooses to confront the guilt haunting their lives and carry a new burden alone.
Written By: Dustin Cook
Directed By: Dustin Cook
Something can be said about beautifully captured simplicity. No surprise twists in a story, no super-saturated plot arc; just a simple yet easy story to marinate on as the credits begin to roll. Writer / Director Dustin Cook has conceived and brought to camera just such a story. One that is both complicated in it's simplicity, and gentle on the eyes to watch. "Mother & Brother" is the perfect fit for a title, conveying the straight up film that it represents and wrapping it in a simplistic yet pleasing bow.
On the technical front, as you probably guessed, I was rather surprised. Although not over complicated, which complements the story completely, "Mother & Brother" is quite awesome to watch. No signs of the "Blair Witch" syndrome here and I couldn't find one soft shot in the entire film. The lighting and coloring were spot on, adding to the mood perfectly; even the audio was top notch as it placed me right in the world Dustin Cook created. "Mother & Brother" shows better than most studio shorts with large budgets that I've come across; that's something to pat yourself on the back for! When it comes to the performances... again, stellar work. Laurence Fuller and Clint Napier nail it as the two sibling leads, coming across as completely believable and clearly not from the B list pile. Rounding things off were portrayals just as good from supporting actors Lisa Goodman and Ashley Hayes. When there is a clear danger of being trumped by the supporting cast, who are themselves 'that good', you know you have a winner, and a winner is what "Mother & Brother" is, right to the core.
This is a slow and simmering drama that really can play with your mind if you let it. Do people change and get bitter as they get older? A medical reason? Can someone simply be mean for life? What does it mean to be free, or give that gift to someone else? "Mother & Brother" plays with all these issues and for a 16+ minute short film... it does it well. This is not a flick for the action Guru or Sci-Fi nut, like I am, but if you give it half a chance you'll walk away a happy camper. Enough said.
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