Directed by Andrew Richardson
Starring Tim Duthie and Craig Simons
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
Sometimes we forget the true power of film, the fact that we are given this platform to create something out of the ordinary, to take people to places or into scenarios that they will never see or experience, and while this is all very well and good we often over look the simplicity of human interaction and the magic that it can bring to the screen.
Director Andrew Richardson takes the idea of improvisation on film to a whole new level with his short No man is an Island, isolating his two leading actors from each other for four months, working individually to develop their characters and their story.
Shot in a warehouse, fully lit for freedom of movement for the actors, we see our two characters hide out together after committing a crime, having never met before this day [in the film and in real life] they try to size each other up and the reasons as to why they have been chosen to work together for their mutual boss.
The isolation that Richardson implemented on his actors leading up to the shoot allows for an explosive performance on screen, each character is the complete opposite of the other. Raven played by Tim Duthie is an excitable man, dripping in negative energy and rage, but his newly found counterpart, Mr Doyle, played by Craig Simons is reserved, barely speaking and unphased by Raven’s insane ramblings as he attempts to gain a reaction out of Doyle.
These two delve into each other’s minds as they put together the pieces as to why they have been ...well put together, but as they do so they unlock a darker reason for their paring.
Now this as a storyline is not that interesting but when you take into account that the entire film is improvised, shot in one take with only two cameras, we see this short in a whole new light, we see the sheer power of interaction as these actors feed off each other, they were given no final destination or plot points, just the freedom to explore their character, the other actor's character, as well as the scenario that they have been given.
A truly enjoyable watch from start to finish, No Man is an Island is gripping as well as clever, two thumbs way up Richardson.