Directed by Paddy Murphy Starring Kevin Kiely Jr, Caroline O Hara & Stephen Ryan Short film review by Lorenzo Lombardi
It is 1950s Ireland, and the Roman Catholic church holds a powerful grip on the country. The results of their influence are felt deeply in this meaningful film. Its deep historical message is sure to resonate with audiences for a while after viewing.
The Cheese Box tells the true story of a man named “Draughty” (Kevin Kiely Jr), directly affected by the powers that be. As a result, he sets off to perform a task most people could not even imagine to be psychologically doable. This involves carrying the titular plot device that is a cheese box.
This short film must be one of the most personal I’ve ever watched. One aspect of this is the fact that main star Kevin Kiely’s grandfather is, in fact, the protagonist Draughty in real life. Secondly, the climax of the film is a prolonged take of that devastatingly unthinkable task. Kiely plays the character with raw emotion during this moment, proceeding with a consistent flow of poignancy seen throughout.
With keen directing from Paddy Murphy, each scene hints at something traumatic, all the while leading up to the plentiful ending. A great sense of melancholy and mourning is conveyed through old-styled songs and the supporting performances. Every character —- from the bartender to the wife —- share deep expressions that seem to show sympathy and remorse. This adds curiosity to those unfamiliar with the story.
Overall, this well-produced Irish tale is a heartfelt and informing one. With realistic performances, accurate costume design and a memorably moving bit of closure, it is no wonder that The Cheese Box was chosen for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner. Forget the unknown premise and take part in the simple but personal journey of a man, a loved one and his cheese box.