Directed by James Arden
Starring Keir Brown, Robin Tudge & Carolyn Eden
Short film review by Chris Olson
Infidelity, corporate espionage and murder are just some of the aspects to James Arden's short thriller, The Technician, which boasts some solid performances and a taught, suspenseful atmosphere throughout.
The Technician (Keir Brown) is a gifted I.T sort whose skills are headhunted by misogynist Benjamin (Robin Tudge) for whom our techie used to work for, but was fired under suspicious circumstances. Tempted by the money (100k to be exact), and the chance to pilfer information from a company that pretty much uses “password” as their security system, our protagonist looks forward to engaging in his hobby cyber hacking. What he doesn't know, though, is that his prying will enter him into a bitter love triangle filled with secrets and lies.
As with most film reviews for shorts, we won't give away too much of the plot as audiences should definitely make time to see The Technician, if only for its twisted plot. The performances of a high standard; Brown is particularly great, coping well with the solo scenes in which most of his portrayal is done through intense facial shots, whilst Carolyn Eden as Benjamin’s wife Sarah turns up and steals the show by the end. This is a great ensemble piece though, and is noteworthy for its collective dramatic flair.
Arden uses some slow zooms to build tension and close-quarter scenes of dialogue to create intensity, which is vital in a thriller like this. The storytelling is fluid and intelligent, never giving too much away, but allowing a lovely aroma of intrigue behind after each scene, building to an enthralling final sequence. A light score with a few dramatic touchstones is a wonderful accompaniment to The Technician’s subtle hold on the viewer.
What is impressive about Arden’s story is the characters, and how we are never given anyone to really root for. Most arrive with their own particular set of dislikable traits and the domino effect in which our I.T becomes an unwitting part of is all the more gripping for it. The nuanced performances create a maelstrom of drama that violently swirls up the audience and grips them relentlessly. That is not to say this short film is without its flaws. A couple of moments felt a little wooden, and the opening café scene is heavy on the exposition, but these are totally forgivable given the high quality of filmmaking and performances on screen.