David Martyn Conley
David Martyn Conley
A man has taken three kids hostage at a local school. His intent? The worst - to kill all three of them. Being one of the first on scene, Detective Whitlock attempts to talk the man down - but not all is as it seems to be. The shooter, Ash Poole, has a powerful motivation for his actions. Getting him to drop the gun may be tougher than at first thought.
There is just so much to love about this short film, and the version I received was also loaded with around forty five minutes of extras. Mainly, questions and answers with various professionals - within the mental health field. Just the extra segment alone is worth the price of admission - for anyone interested in the subject matter. But what kind of film is this? Reality? True crime or a complete, but standard fiction? "Father's Day" is a fiction rooted in real, and potentially real events. As crazy as it sounds, this is a film about family, love and yes... justice. There's no question that justice is a central theme here. For a flick that clocks in at around fifteen minutes, there's a awful lot loaded into this package - and even though a three out of five rating is definitely nothing to scoff at... it should have been higher. I'll get into that below.
I really did struggle with what to rate this flick. I even nearly went a half a star lower - but not for the reasons you're probably thinking. First off, the writing of this film is excellent. Real, believable and yes reader, even sad. The same can be said for the acting itself. David Martyn Conley as Detective Whitlock, does a great job with the character - but Gary Modlish, portraying Ash Poole steals the show. I don't think it's anything relating to the actors abilities, rather the written content itself. Modlish gets all the powerful dialog, and kills it. Perhaps not the best choice of words, but the truth is that the entire short film is a gritty piece of work - in the best possible way.
So why didn't I rate this film what it probably deserves? At least a four... right? Although ratings are generally subjective, this one is based on post production decisions alone. Mainly, the visual style. There are so many filters applied to this film, it almost seemed rotoscoped. Seriously. Crazy filters and vignettes dominated every scene, along with some weird film grain. The result was a very serious short film - reduced to a saturated eye sore. I can't understand why, but it was so much... that I kept getting pulled right out of David Martyn Conley's hand crafted world. Add to that, the weirdly cartoon action sound effects and strange blood effects, and at times it was tough to stay focused. "Father's Day" would have been better without the blood, and definitely without the coloring frenzy and vignettes. Being subtle is key... just because you can, doesn't always mean you should. And yet... I still found myself mesmerized for a good chunk of this film. Again, a tribute to the cast.
Even with the crazy colors, filters and vignettes, "Father's Day" still holds itself well above the average mark. The message is not only instantly recognizable - but almost common. That's a sad fact, but a fact none the less. Just what is the exact story behind this movie? As I've said before, you'll just have to watch to find out. I'm sure most will get the idea and although effective, even the turnaround in the final act will again, be instantly recognized. Should a version of this film surface, minus the visual distractions, go ahead and add another star to this one. Yes. It's pretty damn good.