Directed by: #CraigMagevizoSmith
Written by: #TaniSullivan
It is an unfortunate truth that being raised without a father figure can have severe consequences for young people, especially young men, who can suffer from not having a strong male presence to guide them. However despite its obviously good intentions, short film Fatherless fails to make an impact with this subject matter and instead delivers a rather mediocre short film.
The short film opens with a man being released from one of Her Majesty’s prisons after twenty years of incarceration. This is then followed by a long, drawn-out sequence of him walking almost aimlessly through the streets, before arriving at his new temporary residence where he has an extremely brief and unnecessary exchange with another man there. This is interspersed with shots of a young man sitting in a flat playing video games and being repeatedly accosted by his mother for doing so. Finally, the newly-released man arrives at their house and presents himself to these people, who are revealed to his son and ex-partner. Here begins the inevitable confrontation as the son begins chastising his father for being absent all these years.
The film takes too long to get started and the opening sequence bounces back and forth between the same two visuals way too often, which makes the film seem stagnant right from the off. What little dialogue there is feels quite contrived and isn’t helped by some rather unconvincing performances across the board. Despite an initial outburst when father and son meet, the rest of their exchange seems more like three people having a casual conversation rather than an emotional confrontation.
The majority of the film's message is delivered in a rapped/spoken monologue that plays over some slightly monotonous music. This is where this short film tries to deliver a poignant message about the struggles young people face when raised without a father figure and while it does hit home at parts, it then undermines itself with montage scenes where nothing happens, before suddenly shoehorning in a stabbing scene that seems a tad over gratuitous and confuses the tone of the film. Ultimately, the ending doesn’t deliver the punch it should largely due to the content preceding it.
All in all, Fatherless seems as if it might have been a pool of ideas thrown together and despite having such an important topic at the centre, Fatherless doesn’t manage to do it any real justice. The film's monologue does offer some insight and important messages about the hardships that young people from single parent families can face, but this short seems to be a hashing together of the kind of stereotypes you might already expect and instead just leaves a rather underwhelming taste in your mouth.