The Night is Calling Short Film Review

★★★

Directed by: #FranciscoMorais & #MiguelPinto

Written by: #FranciscoMorais & #MiguelPinto

Starring: #JoséCeitil, #NelsonLeão, #PedroBernardino


Film Review by: Julian Gaskell


A man in a denim jacket stands with his back to the camera looking at  the shelves inside a wool shop.

The Night is Calling is a Portuguese short film with subtitles, it begins following an old man going about his daily routine, buying fish from the local fish market before opening up his local wool shop, speaking to customers and having dinner. It’s the simple quiet life of an old man dedicated to his small business. Business is struggling but he seems to be ok, he can buy his fresh fish from the fish market, he can afford a glass of wine and has a good car to get to work where he stays late to work one night.


Into the picture arrive Sérgio (Pedro Bernardino) and Alex (Nelson Leão) who set out at night and drive to do a shop break in and it’s the old man’s wool shop. Alex has chosen the shop presumably for it’s easy access but Sérgio isn’t happy he’s chosen a wool shop to rob without any money inside. The heist takes a further turn for the worse when they find the old man shop keeper is still in there. Sérgio becomes incensed with Alex for getting him mixed up with this dire robbery attempt and is happy to call it quits after strongly threating the shopkeeper. Alex meanwhile has other plans.


Writer director partners Francisco Morais and Miguel Pinto have put together a simple robbery attempt which goes wrong. It gently moves along with the premise of a nice old man getting by in life with his respectable wool shop until the sudden danger from this unfortunate break-in to his premises that takes a sudden twist. The performances start off quite low key but eventually they escalate into some forceful acting from Nelson Leão and Pedro Bernardino as the robbers. There are a couple of musical touches that are effective in telling the story. One is an integral part of the story, played on a record player and the other is the film’s own sound score. The filming uses some hand held close ups to good effect that really raise the intensity of the situation that are combined with some edited clips which cleverly illustrate what is unfolding without showing you anything in particular, whilst the emotive speaking reveals all about the story's plot.


There turns out to be more to the gentle old man and his nice little wool shop and unluckily for him there is no pulling the wool over these two robbers. The result is a hard hitting story as the robbers decide to take the law into their own hands.