Maximus - Short Film Review

★★★★★

Written & Directed by: #RichardPrendergast

Starring: #LaurenHarris, #CalieanGalloway, #AlbertClogston, #MaisiePrendergast

Short Film Review by Taryll Baker

Poster for Maximus

A young warrior's fight for his life, told through the eyes of his younger sister. Infused with imagination, tragedy and magic.


Are you a sucker for emotionally investing, magical but grounded dramas? If so, Richard Prendergast’s new short film Maximus will blow you away. Sweeping you up into a story of courage, love and giving, with all the best aspects coming together to create a most wonderful film. Maximus begins in a medieval setting, then sharply cutting into the present, all the while introducing two characters that will eventually link in a very rewarding though slightly predictable way. After the first few minutes you begin to realise how the film will continue to unravel, and even with that in mind, it’s still an exciting and genuinely brilliant watch.


The way the story is structured sends viewers on a mysterious, fanatical exploration of a great warrior named Maximus (Cailean Galloway), whom we quickly learn is the brother of India (Maisie Prendergast). As the film unfolds there is a big dramatic lift and it’s quite touching. The way in which Prendergast writes and directs this story is so refreshing to see; there’s a lot of weight to it. Involving elements like practical effects, stunning camerawork and a fantastic central performance from Maisie Prendergast, Maximus is truly not to be missed. The same must be said of the sound editing and mixing, which brings to life not just the battle sequences, but the slower character beats as well. Musically speaking, moving pieces from Jack Douglas and Daniel Coe keep the emotional core of the film alive, with soothing sounds and triumphant orchestral trappings running alongside the fantasy and real-world elements.


Maximus brings forth a true story that works as a show of appreciation for some very good people in real life. The narrative wraps truth and tale into one form and the result is something I haven’t personally seen before — this perfect blending offers up a cross-genre that feels utterly smart and unique. Worthy of great critical success and absolutely destined to win some awards as well as the hearts of anyone who watches it, Maximus is worth your time.


Totally investing and humorous, due in part to the witty dialogue, Maximus is a fine showcase of just how different short filmmaking can be and, that if you put in the effort, blood, sweat and tears, you can be left with something simply special.


#TaryllBaker