★★★★ Directed by: Pishdaad Modaressi Chahardehi Written by: Ivan Bailey-Wilson and Pishdaad Modaressi Chahardehi Starring: Lee Starkey, Helen Lewis, Isaac Huskisson, Annaliese Marie Whipp Short Film Review by: Chris Olson
From Anarcy Cinema, short film I.D., from filmmaker Pishdaad Modaressi Charhardehi, is an incredibly intense crime thriller that combines an unrelenting atmosphere with a severe case of mistaken identity.
Lee Starkey plays both Jake and Craig. The former is a well-off lawyer who has a pleasant wife (Helen Lewis) and a nice car. The latter is a blood-smeared homeless maniac who is introduced at the beginning of the film emerging from some woods where he has quite clearly been up to some slicing and dicing (and not the good chef kind). Polar opposites as characters then, aside from one crucial difference. They are doppelgangers. From there you can potentially see where this is going.
Presented with an unabashed attitude towards graphic violence, I.D. is an affecting piece of threatening cinema that maintains a harsh but necessary brutality throughout. No punches are pulled and very little diversion for the audience is offered. This formidable atmosphere is then taken to another level by the fierce music from James Peter Moffatt and enhanced by the trailer-like sound design. The audial experience for the audience here is immense.
The performances are believable, with Starkey delivering a strong on screen menace that is terrifying at times without becoming cartoonishly evil. Playing two roles within the same movie is a demand for even the most seasoned of players and Starkey does well to distinguish both. There are a couple of news reporters who add a nice bit of exposition but were too fast in their line delivery, detracting from the horrific events they are supposed to be describing. Lewis has some excellent scenes in the final moments of the short film, riffing with Starkey brilliantly, their chemistry and tension being one of the most compelling aspects from an entertainment perspective. I would have happily seen this expanded upon.
Perhaps a little simplistic in terms of narrative structure and thematic depth, I.D. is more of an experience movie. The stylistic choices of the filmmaker and crew, and the talent in front of the camera, make this worthy of your time to see a piece of short filmmaking that dares to fuse the home invasion trope with a pulse-racing thriller atmosphere. If you are not captivated by the sheer force of it all then you will at least be checking out lurking strangers in case they are your mirror-image.