Directed by Daniel Harding Starring Chris Clynes & Lindsay Bennett Short Film Review by Monica Jowett
Politics, satire and mystery surround short film Killer Bird. Written and directed by Daniel Harding, the movie combines a wry sense of humour and undeniable intrigue to create a solid piece of cinema.
The film centres on Michael (Chris Clynes) who, goaded on by his ranting friends about the state of Britain, attempts to capture a killer bird which has escaped and is terrorising people on the South Downs. Michael tries to track down the mysterious creature, all the while hearing about attacks and terror happening up and down the country. On his journey he runs into Linda (Lindsay Bennett) who joins Michael on his search. Linda is not all she seems to be, and Michael’s quest take a surprising turn.
From the beginning the story keeps the audience on guard, with nothing quite adding up. The deeper themes of fear and control represented in the film by Michael’s friends and by Linda, show how everyone has something in common with someone else, but we often look for the differences. The film deals with subjects that have a grey area, and Michael struggles throughout the course of the film to do the right thing.
While watching Killer Bird, it might be easy to pass over the thematic undertones but they are problems and issues that resonate in the real world. The current and topical story of Harding’s film is quick to make an impact when you have finished watching it. The smooth cinematography with well-designed shots is another way the short film draws the viewer in, and keeps you focussed on the build-up.
Clynes is a fantastic lead as the uncertain hero. Though he is often cut short and looked over by his friends in the opening scene and by Linda later on, he is also quick to show his worth and strength against the ambiguity and fear which surrounds his journey. Bennett is the opposite; head strong, and controlling to the point you distrust her every move.
The vagueness of the premise of the film is the overall attraction to Killer Bird, and is sure to keep you thinking. It will be interesting to see which direction Harding takes with his future films if they follow the similar themes of Killer Bird.
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