This short film flowed across my screen at what I can only write, was the perfect time. Although never a gangster, not particularly in great shape, and seemingly holding nothing truly in common with the title character - this film was not only inspiring... but also uplifting. Having been held hostage in a bit of an emotional and creative slump, as the credits rolled, signalling the ending of "Grind" I'd by lying if I said I didn't have a sudden burst of motivation. Now, the next day, the effects of "Grind" and Robert Wilmote's story, are still playing through my mind like some damn ear worm I heard on the radio. I'm not complaining. Not even a little.
Robert Wilmote is the leading character of the film. Calling him a "character" may be a little misleading, considering this is a true story, but I'm sure you get my point. Having escaped a war torn Africa in the early nineties, Wilmote was pushed into a life of crime on the streets. Essentially becoming the stereotype gangster until finally, incarcerated for a number of years. "Grind" touches on that chapter of his life, giving us a surprising amount of details considering the length of this short film. Narrated and reenacted by Wilmote himself, we're treated to a very real, very gritty snapshot of what things were like. This isn't where "Grind" really shines however, not by a long shot. The true power of this title comes in the form of redemption. In this case, it's redemption through fitness and training. As I can attest however, the truly inspiring vibes are from Wilmote himself. Essentially saying where there's a will there's a way. Living proof anyone can turn their life around, and through sheer determination, make a real difference. Needless to say, "Grind" is a story of dedication. A story of manning up and getting shit done. No days off.
Visually this was a beautiful film. Easily decimating that perceived notion of what an indie, or low budget flick should look like. Without going into loads and loads of production and post production thoughts and feelings, let me just write that you could stick this beside any of your favorite programs... and at times "Grind" may even look better. Some real work and heart went into this little film. It shows.
Playability aspects aside, the real power here is the story itself - but more to the point, the man himself. There is some strong charisma conveyed by Wilmote onscreen. He could simply be a "natural" in front of the lens, but I suspect said "charisma" is present in real life as well. That, mixed with his true life story, simply equals an entertaining and powerful film. The motivational qualities are truly inspiring and transcend even the story itself. I don't know how else to describe things. "Grind" really is one of those movies near anyone will be able to watch... and get something out of. Of that there is no question.
Again, maybe in my case timing was everything, but I really enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed the emotional high I received as it progressed. I also enjoyed the message Wilmote is selling. This is one of those rare, short films that I could easily see being made into a feature film... and being a hit. People eat this stuff up. I know I sure did. To Yuri Alves, who wrote and directed, and to Robert himself - excellent work. Time well spent.