DIRTY BILL OF HEALTH is an intriguing
thriller that follows easy going WILLIAM,
to his first check up. When the straight laced DR. SELAURS drops a series of odd
questions the audience may ask who's
really testing who. Nothing is what it seems with a Doctor versus Patient moment that flips the oath 'Do No Harm' upside down.
Written By: Rob Carpenter
Directed By: Rob Carpenter
Rob Carpenter's short flick Dirty Bill Of Health is a more fitting title than one would initially think. The slightly awkward title could actually be a nod to more than one aspect of this great little short film. As the reader of this review and viewer though, that's something you'll have to decide for yourself.
Where to start indeed. First off, as you probably guessed, Dirty Bill Of Health takes place in a Doctors office. I have a feeling the look was supposed to be that of a small town practice that may even reside a few blocks from your very own house. In the way of staging there was clearly some attention to detail provided... but... I couldn't help but feel the office looked more like a spa or Tanning place rather than a Doctors Office. Like I wrote above, the staging was all there but the hard design of the room just didn't seem to match. Of course I could be wrong... for all I know it actually was a Doctors Office and I just don't live in a nice enough area! Normally, set design is not a place I dare visit in reviews. But here I need to. Every single time I was treated to a wider shot of the reception area I simply couldn't believe this was a Doctors office! It just kept bringing me right out of the movie. This is a small thing though really. Barely a footnote in an otherwise great short film.
So where does this short really shine? For the most part the acting. Getting great talent is tough for Indie films. Getting great talent for short indie films is even harder. Not here though. Dirty Bill Of Health boasts some damn fine performances done right. What do I mean by "Done Right"? I mean that the cast do an excellent job but never actually seem to take themselves all that seriously. I don't mean they play it off as corny characters with cheesy one liners a-la David Caruso. I mean they play the characters naturally with a hint of playfulness. It serves this film very well indeed.
In the "Plot" department Mr. Carpenter doesn't disappoint. Not really anyhow. You are left guessing at who's who but when the big reveal is made there's no real shock here. that doesn't mean it's not well written. Everything flows and fits perfectly. I just can't help but feel a super twisty cool ending would have blasted this short right off the 1-5 scale. All in all though nice job. Editing was done well here and a big thumbs up to the work in the audio mix. I hate it when films have poor audio. A staple of Indie film making. Not here though. Clear, crisp and done right. Excellent job. I should probably add that there is a retro feel to this film that I loved. Not sure if it was on purpose or by accident. Either way. Very nice.
Although not completely perfect (What ever is though) Rob Carpenter heads up a great little diversion that's sure to please. I humbly submit my personal rating of 3.5 / 5. Excellent work cast and crew!
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