Don't Open Me short film

★★★★★

Directed by: #ZiyadSaadi

Starring: #AlecHynes, #JulianMKheel, #KathyBiehl, Ziyad Saadi, #NorikoSato and #GwenevereSisco

Short Film Review by: #RachelPullen


Don't Open Me short film

Ah wuv, wuvey wuvety wuv. Isn’t being in love nice? Sure is. You can get laid a lot, have someone to go on a picnic with, shoot up banks and buy a dog with. Don’t by a dog though, mine is old now and smells like the ocean...bad times.


But love can also make us do stupid things. They say that love is blind and boy howdy is that true, if you don’t believe me go and Google people you have slept with in the past...you will soon be filled with shame, and that stupidity is the driving force for a little #shortfilm from triple threat Ziyad Saadi.


You can’t hear me right now but I am screaming at the screen, as it is revealed to me that Saadi not only directed and wrote this little gem of a film, but also played the leading role in the piece. Bleurgh get out, you active people make me feel bad about myself. I can barely use a microwave to cook beans and get the toaster to go off at the same time for the perfect heat to beans on toast scenario.


Short film Don’t Open Me tells the story of Abdul, who is sent to pick up some packages for his boyfriend who is unable to do so [he is working on that beans on toast, heat ratio issue], he stands diligently on the side of the road while three separate characters present three separate packages to him one by one, each more sinister than the last.


And if that’s not disturbing enough, the whole time, a haggard and chain smoking clown named Harpo watches him from the adjacent side of the street. Harpo looks like he has seen some shit in his time, Harpo looks like he knows how to party. I wanna hang with Harpo.

The final package, though, comes with a simple instruction: “don’t open me’’, and conflicted Abdul begins to question his boyfriend’s motives for putting him in this scenario. Did he really care about him? Would he actually put him in harm’s way? Did he not love him enough?

Harpo finally jumps into gear, guiding Abdul’s thoughts in regards as to open the package or not, playing the role of the devil, or angel, on the shoulder of our leading man. What will he do? I would throw it in one of those massive Biffa bins and hit up an arcade to play Donkey Kong but, you know, each to their own.


Don't Open Me is beyond flawless, acting: bang on point, believable, diverse and engaging, #cinematography is attractive and well planned, showcasing Saadi’s eye for artistic flair.


But the true winner is the storyline and script itself. This short engages us so quickly into a confusing storyline that does not really have many answers, and that is a skill. We are given very little in regards to understanding the reason for these packages but yet we are pulled in, developing a connection with the characters, We feel the struggle, we want to know what’s in the box.


And although it’s frustrating to not really have a solid conclusion to this piece, I feel that is the charm. You see the stupid situations we put ourselves in for the ones we love, and maybe not knowing the end is there to make us feel a little more dumb, maybe to teach us a lesson not to be so blind in regards to the ones we care about.


So if your lover tells you to pick up anything other than an Amazon package, maybe give it a second thought. You just don’t know if you’re gonna end up partying with Harpo because of it.