Directed by Luis Miguel Leal
Written by Jorge Barboza
Starring Steve Wilcox and Jean Pierre Agostini
Short Film Review by Chris Olson
In the cosy daylight of a well furnished living room, two men sit opposite each other. On the sofa is Detective Baton (Jean Pierre Agostini), sporting a wet-behind-the-ears demeanour but also harbouring a quiet mystery. In an armchair sits the titular Mr Sheppard (Steve Wilcox). Well dressed and imposing, his defensiveness becomes quickly apparent and something which increases through the short film.
Full of intrigue and atmosphere, Luis Miguel Leal's direction of The Case Against Mr. Sheppard is clever and rich. The intimate location is used brilliantly to enhance the drama, allowing the friction between the two characters to fill the room like smoke. The story from Jorge Barboza is layered with thick twists and revelations and has a great timing in terms of developing the plot surrounding Mr Sheppard. It would be a shame to spoil any of the potential enjoyment for the viewer by going into any detail, but the storyline is original and engaging.
Both performers turn in worthy portrayals of their characters, each distinctive but different. The mistrust of Wilcox's intense facial expressions perfectly contrasting Agostini's almost puppy doggish and fervent intrigue. The former has more presence and tends to dominate each frame he is in, but both have a chemistry that is worthwhile to explore.
The music was well chosen and captured the tone of the short well, in particular the final sequences which had a heightened drama to them. There was a televisual quality to the filmmaking which seemed more akin to a high end crime show rather than a movie. That being said, the intro sequence was excellently put together and showed a degree of bravery.
Given the storyline was left with space for continuation, The Case Against Mr. Sheppard would make a welcome feature length indie film, especially with room to breathe and a decent budget. The cast are great, the writing is intelligent and the overall filmmaking showed a lot of promise. A must watch for fans of intense dramas and great performances.
Watch the official Movie Trailer for The Case Against Mr. Sheppard below...