Everyone handles death differently, grief takes many forms. Those moments immediately following the news of someone passing sometimes shorts the brain, making people forget those first few moments, and sometimes the exact opposite - everything becomes crystal clear as if recorded by some dark filmmaker - hiding in the shadows of our thoughts. Every second captured for posterity. For people like Harvey however, those first thoughts come as a revelation and a desperate need. For what you ask? Well reader, answering that question would destroy the punchline of Aaron Carroll's short film - a punchline you should witness for yourself.
The broad-strokes of "Harvey" start viewers off with some introductions. To Harvey himself and his wife, who is tinkering away in the kitchen. Harvey seems like the typical, if not over the top couch bum whose greatest fear is that he may actually have to walk over to the television, to turn it on. As he frantically searches for the remote, without leaving his chair, his wife gently urges for him to check under his arse - which he does, and finds his prize. It's slightly after this diverted disaster that his wife takes a call, and finds out that Harvey's best friend has died. He doesn't take the news well, and runs out of the house a complete mess... and continues to run. His destination? Again reader, you'll simply have to find out for yourself but I will say this - the destination is both touching and comedic in almost equal measure. Harvey may be a lazy, seemingly dimwitted guy - but he does have a heart.
"Harvey" clocks in right at around the ten-minute mark, so it definitely flies from start to finish - and the excellent visuals and scoring make that ten minutes feel even shorter. The question of the movie is always where is he going, followed immediately by why the hell is he running? Aaron Carroll's film feels a little ridiculous, watching this obviously very lazy man running full tilt through his neighborhood, but it's also pretty funny to watch. Especially funny are some of the... events that occur along the way. It's obvious this "running man" routine is meant to be taken lightly, but spaced out during Harvey's trek are moments of genuine sadness - played out nicely by Peter Flaherty.
My biggest peeve, however... was also an element this short film used for its humor. Harvey himself. The truth is that he really isn't a likable guy. Maybe that's a little harsh, but true none the less - Harvey is the living cliche of lazy selfishness. But that unlikeable personality also paves the way for that funny, yet touching moment at the end. I can honestly say that if my best friend died unexpectedly - I may feel inclined to do what Harvey did - in order to protect his memory. This short film offers a nice little ending that definitely put a slight smile on my face.
At the end of the day, I enjoyed my time spent watching this short and sweet flick. It may, at times, feel like a technical demo reel of sorts, but only just. Aaron Carroll and his troupe have crafted a fun-filled few minutes that are sure to entertain most viewers. So long as they don't take the film all that seriously - but I don't see how anyone could? "Harvey" is meant to be enjoyed with a light heart and if done that way, is pretty damn entertaining. That's what it's all about right? Three and a half stars.