Directed by Phil Peel Starring Garry Mannion & Melissa de Mol Short Film Review by Amaliah Marmon-Halm
Late Request is an emotive little short film written, directed and edited by Phil Peel. Whilst driving late at night and feeling quite tired, Steven is left critically injured and trapped upside-down in a wrecked car. Paramedic Nicky battles to keep him conscious, whilst they wait for extra help to set him free. As they wait and he clings to life by a thread; Steven has one simple yet important last request for Nicky. What will she make of this? Garry Mannion and Melissa de Mol play the unfortunate Steven and the attentive Nicky respectively.
This is very simple yet effective story, that in its limited running time and confined space, still does very well to touch the heart of anyone watching. With such a short film, if the story and the atmosphere isn't set right, there is a lot of room for failure. Especially if the audience do not connect emotionally with the characters. It’s safe to say that Peel has succeeded with this element, as we truly feel for Steven and his tragic situation. The ‘last request’ in question is not something you may expect and that’s what I think makes this such a compelling short.
Suspense carries on throughout, as Steven drifts in and out, with only Nicky to bring him round. This film ends on a slight cliff-hanger, as Steven struggles for life. All the audience are left with is Nicky smiling down on him. Will he make it out alive or will he succumb to unconsciousness? We, the viewer, want to know!
Late Request is well filmed, well produced and a well performed story and it is not surprising that the script won a Gold Award at the British Screenwriters Awards in 2015.
There are a few sound issues, which if you do pay attention to them, can drag you out of story a little bit but luckily, this slight error doesn't take away from the overall effectiveness of the film.