Directed by: David Bradburn
Written by: David Bradburn, Nick Kryzcka
Starring: Craig James Jr., Jake Moore, Jeannette DiGiovine
Short Film Review by Hannah Sayer
“What happens when we unfetter ourselves from the chains of our own oppression?”
Fork the Man Productions presents a superhero film with a twist. Superhero Me is a short film about a normal man who just happens to have superhero like powers. He saves lives and prevents accidents from taking place. This short film has a surprisingly unique central plot point as this hero is someone that struggles with his own self-doubt and perception of himself.
Superhero Me opens with a plane having to undertake an emergency landing due to engine failure. Liz, played by Jeannette DiGiovine, is watching news coverage of the event which details how this is not just an isolated incident. There is a local legend whose identity is unknown who has been placed at the scene of multiple near tragedies. Matt, played by Craig James Jr., is Liz’s boyfriend and happens to be this local hero. While archival footage is being shown in this news broadcast about these recent events he is looking at himself in the mirror and contemplating. This a clever way in which the viewer is introduced to Matt’s anxieties and self doubt moments before he discusses these events with Liz. She believes that he should let the world know that it is him who is saving all these lives and preventing these tragedies. However, he argues that “I’m just at the right place at the right time”. He doesn’t want people to see himself for who he really is as he fears they will be disappointed by what they see.
The film shows a number of everyday situations, for example Matt trying to get involved in a conversation with his co-workers at the office and going to dinner with friends, where he is uncomfortable and struggles to fit in. Brad, played by Jake Moore, is the villain of the short film and is introduced when Matt and Liz go to dinner with their friend Sarah, played by Emily Barber, and her new boyfriend, Brad. An incident occurs at dinner and the film follows how Brad and Matt join forces to become Strategic Emergency Crisis Management Operatives. Brad takes advantage of Matt’s character and what follows is Matt’s journey to self-acceptance.
Matt is overwhelmed by social anxiety which is explored in a scene when he goes into a cafe to order and is taken aback by a sudden rush of people entering the cafe, so he leaves. The behaviour of the film’s hero is at odds with what the viewer expects of a normal superhero movie. The short film successfully contradicts our usual perceptions and portrays this familiar tale of heroic actions being overshadowed in a different and intriguing way. In a scene when Matt is explaining to Liz why he doesn’t want the public to know that he is the local hero, intimate and close up camera angles are used on Matt’s face. This enables the film to present to the viewer Matt’s isolation and just how restrictive his self-doubt can be.
Overall, Superhero Me is a short film which works well as a character study of one man’s journey to discovering his true perception of himself. It is refreshing to see an exploration of self-doubt and anxiety explored in a film of this subject matter.
Watch the official movie trailer for Superhero Me below, or the WHOLE film after the synopsis underneath the trailer.
Not your ordinary superhero movie: no lycra, no costumes. Our hero is loved by his community for his heroic deeds, but he's not loved by himself. Watch as he attempts to reconcile his extraordinary gifts and his self-perceived social awkwardness. His journey leads him to have to decide who has the truest perception of him; himself or those around him.
Enjoy watching short films for free? Watch another on the UK Film Channel.