Directed by: Dom Lee
Starring: Luke Morley, Craig Wilkinson, and Christina Hardy
Short Film Review by: Niall Maggs
James (Luke Morley) loves building cardboard models with his mother (Christina Hardy), and when she falls ill, James and the community set out to complete an impossible task - build the world's biggest cardboard fort!
Fort Box is a simple short film, but it’s the emotion and happiness that you get out of it that really makes it special; it proves you don’t need explosions or action to create a heartfelt story, and one which stays with you for a long time. And Fort Box does stay with you...
The trio of actors all do an outstanding job. Luke Morley as James is excellent and his portrayal is so realistic that you don’t even realise you’re watching an actor! Same with Wilkinson and Hardy, both are brilliant and give such a stunning performance, and the movie has so much more of a profound effect on you because of their terrific character portraits.
The use of sound is done to perfection. It’s noticeable, but isn’t distracting. It’s subtle enough to enhance the viewing experience, and significant enough to create a lasting effect. The choice of music is also a strong point. The filmmakers didn’t use music which felt out of place, instead they used music which felt right. Like it was made just for the film. And because of this, it just works.
The script is full of lines which hit hard. Every line in the dialogue has meaning and reason behind it, but it also manages to feel very natural and organic, maybe it’s because of the effortless performances by the actors, but whatever it is, it’s flippin' fantastic!
The editing is also noticeably great, and the blending between scenes and shots works so well. It’s very subtle, but it’s the small things which really make this short film work.
Regarding flaws - there aren’t any. Every element of filmmaking is done splendidly well, and there really isn’t anything that stands out as being ‘bad’ or ‘poor’, and to say that a film is flawless, is a very rare thing...
Dom Lee’s direction is definitely worth mentioning. He didn’t revolutionalise the craft, or change the filmmaking standard, but he definitely managed to tell a risky story in such an emotional and impactful way, and gave the audience something very special. This should be witnessed by everyone. No matter what. Because even the strongest will shed many tears.