The Redemption Act short film

Directed by Fred Cavender

Starring Wyatt Reeves, Chris Assheton-Blair, Bess Davies, and Rob Lawrence

Short Film Review by Owen Herman

The opening shots of The Redemption Act set up a mystery. An extreme act of violence committed by one enraged man on another as a woman watches on in horror poses many questions. These questions are answered surprisingly quickly as the short takes this seemingly simple set up and turns into something you really don’t see coming.

The violent act is revisited again and again, in Groundhog Day fashion, until the complete truth is revealed. Thanks to clever editing and the ever-evolving mystery, the fact that The Redemption Act is basically built around a singular scene becomes engaging, instead of being repetitive. Each new camera angle invites exploration into something that could be different, yet the Black Mirror style finale is completely unpredictable. Once the truth is revealed, it becomes apparent that the ideas behind this short are clever and brilliantly executed.

The performances are great across the board, as is the writing, although there is not much room for either due to the repeated dialogue. The characters themselves aren’t given any real depth and most questions about their actions are never answered. Although this fits into the set-up, it doesn’t give the viewer a chance to fully engage with any of these people.

Tony Rainy’s original score is terrific, and really gets a chance to change and build. The visuals, however, cannot match the sound. The colour palette is bland, and no shot ever really pops out to the viewer. The closing moments could have really done with some visual distinction to truly mark the reveal.

The Redemption Act leaves the viewer thinking, both about the ideas it poses, and the final destiny of the main character. The themes and ideas behind the short are intelligent and their execution is well thought through. Its engaging nature keeps the mystery alive, and it never falls down into predictability.

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