Directed by George Najdzien Starring Tom Diver and Tim C. Hudson Short film review by Lorenzo Lombardi
Opus Dei, translated from Medieval Latin, literally means ‘work of God’. Priests carry out the work of god, but the priest protagonist of this short film takes it to the next level by taking matters into his own hands in this movie that boasts the ability to make a good story solely around compelling dialogue.
To outline the plot would also end up ruining it, as the thriller is only around 7 minutes, discounting the credits. In this time, there are themes of redemption, vigilance, love and the obsessiveness it causes. Before the audience are shown anything, they see a blank screen with ominous music and creepy whispers by children reciting bible verses. This underplays the disturbing elements to come.
The priest, played by Tom Diver, delivers lines with haunting intensity. A policeman, played by Tim C. Hudson, does well with a minor role. They perform in the middle of a blooming field in West Sussex, a beautiful and heavenly backdrop to an otherwise grim plot, brought to you by aptly named production company Suspiric Noir and distributor Terror Visions. Cinematographer Klayton Dean’s drawn-out and static takes of a single subject and the beautiful setting leave you to focus on the good writing and acting.
What leaves the most impact, however, is the ending. It smartly contradicts the character’s beliefs and shows how lust can manifest itself and take over someone, exemplified again by powerful and analogical Corinthians verses. Audiences will be shocked but also left pondering.
This is director George Najdzien’s first credit for any production, and I hope he directs and writes more. His ability to successfully make a story out of a small scenario like this and to turn the film’s perceived intentions on its head is an admirable result. Watch this and thank God your local priest is not like him.