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Roundheads and Cavaliers short film review


Directed by: #ChloëThomas

Written by: #KevinMears


Poster of the film: white image with the title (Roundheads and Cavaliers) written in red just above a drawn picture of all of the characters in their costumes.

Roundheads and Cavaliers is a short film directed by Chloë Thomas and written by Kevin Mears. Filmed in the beautiful landscapes of England, this comedy stars Cariad Lloyd on the role of Alice, a woman who is invited by Keith (of Sutherland), played by Alex Carter, to try historical re-enactment. Dressed as roundheads, Alice and Keith are joined by Gareth (David Schaal), a grumpy older man who is saddened by the lack of historical accuracy. The somewhat peaceful trio is met by Adrian (Perry Fitzpatrick), a cavalier wants to fight Keith to claim Alice.

Thomas’s short is very entertaining! Justin Evans and Simon Poulter, DOPs, make use of their biggest asset – the landscapes – perfectly. There is a great mix of more intimate shots and landscape shots. With mid-shots and close ups to frame the characters’ dialogues, they allow the audience to see the nuances of the actor’s comedy – as the humour here comes from reaction rather than the dialogue itself (but more on the acting soon). And to contrast, long and wide shots not only privilege the landscape, but augment the awkwardness that hovers throughout the film. One example of this, is when Adrian fights Keith to claim Alice, the fight is framed so the audience can see the clumsiness of the fight and feel as awkward as Gareth and Alice feel looking at the two grown man wrestling on the floor.

The humour in Thomas’s short is indeed the film’s strongest point. As I mentioned above, the camera angles and movement certainly help to boost the comedy here, but praise should be given to Kevin Mears’s witty screenplay (‘Have you ever held a sword or is it as foreign to you as a woman’s touch?’) and the great range from all of the actors. Lloys plays the confused Alice brilliantly, down to every ‘what?’ and every puzzled frown; Schaal’s portrayal of someone who is as annoyed with Keith and his lack of commitment as he is with Keith’s nonchalant reaction to his ‘coming out’ adds depth to Gareth, especially when put next to Carter’s detached Keith and his slouched posture. Keith and Alice are indeed a weird but cute couple. And the cherry on the cake is Fitzpatrick’s arrogant and entitled, but funny Adrian. Every character here brings a different flavour to the short and Thomas should be proud of the cast and crew she was able to put together.

As this review approaches its end, I think it’s only fair if I finish it stating the absolute joy that was seeing Richard, the dog – Alice’s little companion that ties it all together!



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