★★ Directed by Shane Sweeney Starring Shane Sweeney, Danielle Bux and Rachel Chambers Indie Film Review by Michael Fiott
One Thing Left To Do tells us the story of Michael (Shane Sweeney), a young man who meets and falls madly in love with the woman of his dreams, Rosie (Rachel Chambers), after a comical encounter in a bar. After their romance blossoms and they are subsequently engaged, tragedy strikes and Michael takes it upon himself to travel to their would be honeymoon destination to find Rosie’s sister Summer (Danielle Bux). After meeting her, he attempts to deal with the difficulty of his loss and contemplate his choices in life.
The first thing that was obvious to me when watching this film was it’s difficulty in creating a consistent tone, which often gave it a rather schizophrenic impression, the start had me convinced that it was to be a lighthearted romantic comedy film with the characters introductions. Then at times, rather shockingly, it would transform itself into a very harrowing drama, evidence of this being the rather unsuspecting death of Rosie and then in an instant turn into a brutal action movie. The confusion is doubled by the often questionable choices of music, from scene to scene this can change from slow and emotional pieces, to contemporary pop and then in an instant become reminiscent of what you can expect to hear in an elevator.
The film also progresses the character of Michael by turning him into what seems to be a rather unhinged and psychopathic killer whose actions are comparable to that of an unempathetic vigilante and then finally turns full circle into a lighthearted romantic comedy once more. The swaps and changes that the film went through not only served to confuse, but also translated mainly onto the protagonist, as the writing of his character followed the turbulent script and resulted in him being hard to relate to.
The rather erratic script leads me onto the dialogue of the characters, none of which truly seem to have their own voice as they all have the same sense of humour, demeanor and outlook on life, evidenced by how each character bonds with each other by talking about sex often very explicitly, which feels out of depth for people who have just become acquainted with one another. One or two private scenes containing this type of dialogue would have been acceptable and only then if the characters were obviously aware of how private and vivid the subject of their conversations were, unfortunately however the frequency results in the audience simply writing it off as juvenile.
Because of the obvious faults in the script it did reduce otherwise seemingly average actors performances, making them appear much worse than they could have been if the script had included any genuine human interaction. The result of this (especially in that of Shane Sweeney who portrays Michael) is an extensive collage of either extreme bliss or conversely an enraged or often emotionless glare over his eyes.
That being said, there are promising directorial moments here, with Sweeney’s rather effective use of montage to progress the plot, which can be seen at early points in its run time. We are also treated to glimpses of notable cinematography, mostly noticeable in the darker sections where a sense of gritty visual flare is added to the shots in post production.
Overall, One Thing Left To Do ironically attempted to do to much and would have benefitted from a more concise script that focused on portraying one solid tone throughout and also focused on creating more human moments within its dialogue.