Directed by: #FreddieHall
Written by: #DCJackson
Like Get Him To The Greek meets Smashed with a profoundly British feel, short film Dead to the World from director Freddie Hall is a fun and flavorful romp through the consequences of excess.
Craig Parkinson plays James, a crude drunkard whose status as a popular actor has secured him a sobriety coach Ben “not Benny” (Jonny Sweet) in order to keep him on the straight and narrow whilst his latest film is being shot. However, all the sparkling water and diet coke in the world can't keep this sardonic hooch-hound from creating havoc everywhere he turns.
Enjoyably rebellious, Dead to the World has a script overflowing with jibes at society and stardom facilitated by the cynical worldview from an inebriated James. As he torments his would-be saviour with endless shenanigans (ranging from a tinnie in the privy to some booger sugar and adultery) the audience quickly sympathises with Ben's insurmountable challenge. This is enhanced, with comedic effect, when the origin story for Ben's career path is revealed.
Containing few missteps when it comes to timing, the movie's biggest laughs come from Craig Parkinson, who is a tour de force of tawdriness. The man seems to be revelling in the role and rightfully so, it has plenty of gut-busting one liners and turbulent antics to chew on. Especially when his equally clamorous co-star Emily (Susan Lynch) appears with a serious bone to pick. Sweet on the other hand seems slightly out of his depth in certain scenes, playing up to the timid helper too much and getting a little lost in the drunken haze of James's antics.
Nicely filmed with a slick production value and aesthetic, Dead to the World has a stylish appeal that many audiences will gravitate towards. This gets brilliantly juxtaposed with the audacious nature of the plot and foul language, a fitting reflection on the two main characters. As their two stories coalesce into something almost shared, an enjoyable camaraderie forms that is very watchable if a bit familiar.
Creating a funny onscreen drunk is a difficult task but D. C. Jackson's script gives the character of James some excellent material (although a script is more of a guide, right?) and his provocative words will be a suitably pointed elbow to the ribs for plenty of viewers. Parkinson elevates the short film into very entertaining heights and should certainly be granted more of these comedic roles.