Directed by Richard Anthony Dunford
Starring Neil Summerville and Harriet Madeley
Short film review by Monica Jowett
Short film Jump brings together dark humour, touching moments and Christmas. Director, writer and producer Richard Anthony Dunford cleverly sets up this film to surprise you and you are left with both some touching sequences and comical moments in just nine and a half minutes.
The film opens up to some Christmas music, baubles and a stocking hung up for ‘Dad’. But it is not the happy Christmas scene you might expect because the dad, George Bailey (Neil Summerville), is all alone. He pierces the film lid on a microwave dinner and sits alone. The man is obviously lonely and pitiful, and the divorce papers reveal the reason why.
The sombre feeling we get from this character continues throughout. Christmas is not a time of year when you want to be alone, but as George stands on the edge, he isn’t alone, as a woman Donna (Harriet Madeley), covered in blood talks to him. She’s a ghost.
The film has clear references to the acclaimed Christmas film It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). George Bailey was also the central character of that film, and down on his luck on Christmas Eve, he contemplates jumping off a bridge, before he is rescued by an angel.
However, that is where the similarities end. Though the classic has many comical moments, Jump brings a darker edge to its humour, but it doesn’t step over that edge and keeps the issue of suicide in a serious light.
The music further captures the tone of the film. The Christmas music keeps it light hearted, to the point that the music is another comical element.
The cast do their job well. Summerville is great casting as the down in the dumps George, and Madeley as the brash young woman who comes to save him is the perfect opposite, creating an interesting dynamic in their short scene. The supporting cast of ghosts are fun to watch too. The short dialogue they have, gives an impression of a good rapport.
Jump is a fun watch; the cast are great and add something to the story, the music is used wonderfully to further the dramatic moments, but never buries us under them. Dunford keep the story tight and direct, so there is no moment left wasted.
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