Directed by: Neil Linpow, Greg Francis
Written by: Neil Linpow
Starring: Neil Linpow, Ruseell Barnett
Time Movie Review
Ferociously performed and entirely immersive, short film Time from directors Neil Linpow and Greg Francis is a tour de force of short filmmaking.
Linpow stars (as well as penning the piece) as Joyce, a prison inmate whom we meet in his cell during a vicious riot. Instead of joining in or even being excited about the prospect of getting out, a guard (Russell Barnett) hands him a phone so he can call his family. The bulk of the story shows Joyce relaying his life lessons to his son over the phone, encouraging him to be a man but also to avoid making bad choices. How our protagonist decided to use his precious moments of Time is very telling and even more tragic as the riot edges dangerously close to his prison cell.
This is a really strong script and contains a formidable central performance by Linpow - who feels like an early Tom Hardy in Bronson (there are other, obvious comparisons to that film). There is an intensity held by the filmmakers throughout the piece which makes it feel like an incredible trailer. And funnily enough, the short film has been picked up to be made into a feature film - which is fantastic news.
As a short film it completely works, though, with plenty of intrigue surrounding the central character, as well as copious amounts of believable dialogue and pathos. The filmmakers utilise intense, roving framing to reflect the trepidation of the events unfolding and the duality of Joyce’s need to impart wisdom to his son whilst preparing himself for a seemingly brutal and inevitable conflict.
The prison drama genre is jam-packed with utter classics, from Shawshank to The Green Mile, and it is great to see Linpow and Francis contribute something fresh and original to the group. We see a complex narrative unfolding from a simple telephone call, one which reveals a ton of underlying subplots all of which grip us and keep us begging, somewhat ironically, for more Time! It will be interesting to see how these guys get on with a longer stretch of film (see what I did there?). Will the movie share a cell with the likes of Starred Up or American History X? Or will it bunk down with the Escape Plans and, well, any film where Steven Seagal ends up in the slammer.
That remains to be seen, and I for one can’t wait, but what is certain is that Time is a powerful, knockout piece of filmmaking that could prove to be one of the best of the year.