Directed by Freddie Hall Starring Josh O'Connor, Ben Hall & Lizzy Watts Short film review by Chris Olson Life is made up of quintessential moments. Rites of passage are ingrained into our culture, and few events contain as many as a wedding. For the bride it could be being walked down the aisle by her father, throwing her bouquet to her closest friends, or a rip-roaring hen do that descends into anarchy and stomach-pumping. For guys, one of the most important rites of passage is choosing his Best Man. So, how does a groom-to-be make such a pivotal decision? Freddie Hall's short film, The Best Man, takes this concept to brilliant, hysterical and homicidal lengths in a little movie that is a lot of laughs.
Set in a non-descript cafe, two friends enjoy a casual brunch. The atmosphere is light; pie and mash being served at the greasy-spoon counter, the patrons strewn sparsely among the tables and chairs, but in the epicentre of the room, Donald (Josh O'Connor) has a crucial question for his bezzie Patrick (Ben Hall). After a rather blunt account of his engagement to his bride-to-be Jean (Lizzy Watts) and asking Patrick to be his best man, Donald then poses the most indecent of proposals; to help him kill Jean using a bathtub and a hair dryer. With biting black comedy and razor sharp performances, The Best Man is a cut above your average short film. Ben Hall operates a well executed turn as the bewildered and befuddled buddy, whilst O'Connor's nuanced portrayal of the maniacal groom-to-be is simply brilliant to watch. As he offhandedly enlightens Patrick with his fiendish plans, there is a marvelous tension that builds between them. Once Watts appears, the trio give a masterclass in comedy timing that produced several belly laughs from this viewer. Romance and weddings often make for some fantastic material for movies. The ludicrous emotions, traditions and variations which occur serve as splendid ammo for a comedy script, something which The Best Man launches at the audience perfectly. There is a brilliant pacing to Freddie Hall's short film, and some fantastic cinematography from Tom Wade, which create a wonderful tone to accompany the performers. The jaunty music from composer Rob Lane is also a little treat. At times, The Best Man felt like a skit from a much bigger production and had a quality about it that transcended the genre. There is plenty for the audience to gorge on. Such as the subtle moments like when Donald eyes the waitress or the line about postponing a toilet trip because of the cleaner. This is beautifully inane attention to detail that only a dedicated craftsman would think of. This film review may sound a little heavy on the compliments, but it was genuinely a joy to watch and it’s a short that benefits from several viewings - the mark of a successful movie.
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