Shadow Boxer short film review

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

★★★★

Directed by: Ross McGowan

Written by: Craig McDonald-Kelly

Starring: Chris Evangelou, Humzah Awan, James Cosmo

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Movie Poster for Shadow Boxer

A boxing match is taking place. It is WBF Super Middleweight Fight and Mason Mendoza is going against Andre Gibson.


The film begins during the ninth round. Mason (Evangelou) is bleeding and losing against Andre (Awan). His only chance of winning is through knockout. Mason's cornermen encourage him with determination to win. Much to Mason's dissatisfaction, his father, Eddie Royce (Cosmo) is cornering Andre.


This ten-minute film was shot during intermission of a real Fight Night in York Hall and all the extras are actual boxing fans who were there to see a boxing match. Nearly the entire story takes place inside the ring. A great deal of drama takes place during these ten minutes. There is fighting, the constant cheering of the crowd, Mason's desperate attempts to win and his relationship with his father is also brought to light.


The film was shot to look like one long take from start to finish. The camera focuses mainly on Evangelou and follows him as he competes, receives advice from his corner and interacts with people. The filmmakers did a fantastic job with keeping the pace and filmed the events from great angles.


There is a sequence that involves very creative sound techniques. Mason is knocked down and is nearly unconscious, the camera filming him from above. The film then goes in slow motion, the sounds of cheering and shouting sink into the background and his thoughts are clearly heard through voice-over. He is remembering harsh words his father said to him in the past. He then rises. It is a brilliant sequence and gives clues about Mason's character.


The acting is very convincing. Evangelou is outstanding as a veteran boxer, who has worked hard in order to get to where he is now. Awan does a good job as his disrespectful opponent and Cosmo is the disapproving father.


Although technically this is a boxing film, it focuses a lot on the relationship Mason has with his father, which does not appear to be positive. They seem to have differences and Eddie (a former champion himself) ended up taking his opponent's side. The general impression appears to be that Mason does not really care about winning the fight, rather he wants his father's approval.


The closing credits deserve a lot of praise. As the credits roll, part of the screen shows black-and-white footage of Mason shadowboxing in a ring in slow motion. And the song 'Boundless' by Upaya Hills wonderfully draws a curtain on this emotional tale.

#JasonKnight


Trailer: