Dear John, I'm Sorry - Short Film Review

★★★★★

Written & Directed by: #IainCash

Starring: #PhilGwilliam, #MaggieHall, #JohnNaughton

Short Film Review by Taryll Baker

Poster for Dear John, I'm Sorry

A man receives a worrying letter from his next door neighbours.


Dear John, I’m Sorry, the new soul crushing short film from writer and director Iain Cash, focuses on the painful truths of loss. The skilful direction makes this one of the strongest short-form stories I’ve seen, and captures the bittersweetness of relationships. The sweet; when you meet your significant other and everything seems great. The bitter; when that time must come to an end.


In this wonderful short film — featuring top-notch performances from Maggie Hall, John Naughton and Phil Gwilliam — romantic ties are put to the ultimate test, and the worried neighbour and friend must come to terms with the heartbreaking result of a mutual, and deeply sad, agreement. The visual is just as gracious as the acting, with cinematography by Tim Follin. One moment in particular lingers on the couple as they embrace each other, and it’s beautiful. Underneath the heavy subject is a sombre score by Ian McLoughlin. His soft and melancholy melodies sweep us through the tough words from the character Susan. Though I believe some very simple edits could make this music work even better; there’s a couple scenes where the music just drops out (with a fade-out) without much progression. A quick tweak would make this film absolutely perfect.

Dear John, I’m Sorry is only eight minutes in length, and tackles exactly what it means to within that time. It’s a superbly moving film with good pacing and lush colours (thanks to Neil Jones), and although quite a dark story thematically, it’s a very rich film with an honest, beating heart at the centre. In some way, this reminds me of the kind of story that Pixar would present; a romantic tale with a tragic story thread that creeps up and catches you off guard. It’s usually a bit of a mixed bag when a filmmaker takes on both directing and writing duties simultaneously, but luckily in this case, Iain Cash triumphs.


The short really speaks for itself, thus anything else I could say simply wouldn’t do it justice. Dear John, I’m Sorry is a touching tear jerker, with well-rounded characters, gracious visuals and a tremendous score. It’s certainly the full package, and totally recommended viewing. Sensational.


Watch the trailer for Dear John, I'm Sorry below.

#TaryllBaker