What Have You Done Short Film Review

★★★

Directed by #MikePelak

Written by #MikePelak

Starring: #SmittyChai #JayPotter

Film Review by Matthew Sawyer


What Have You Done is a simple short film. It tells the story of Chris Moon (Chai) who is a problem fixer for the bad guys. In this case the bad guy is Congressman Robson (Potter) who pulls up in a fancy car with a dead body in the boot. Robson demands Moon takes care of his problem, despite Moon’s reluctance.


This film takes place in one location; at the side of the street in what looks like a rough part of an American city. However, it delivers a lot in the short run time. The premise and the twist at the end are interesting, but unfortunately, it becomes very obvious where the film is going after just a few minutes. What this film does offer that others don’t is a statement about how the rich and powerful almost always prevail. The final shot highlights the corruption in politics and society as a whole. This message is particularly pertinent to today’s audience.


Mike Palek; the writer and director, delivers a strong script and good direction. Both are clearly influenced by Quentin Tarantino; Moon closely resembles Winston Wolf and we recognise Tarantino’s signature shot, looking up from the boot of a car. All that’s missing is a shot of someone's feet. The film does not really have much of a musical score which I feel would have ramped up the emotion. It’s also hard to look past the film title “What Have You Done” which is very uninspired.


Both the actors in the film demonstrate clear talent. Potter really sells himself as a powerful and rich man and Cha’s internal conflict is clear and believable. He also delivers the emotion at the end when the twist comes.


Overall, the film is entertaining. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything new or exciting. This film is a good example of what you can do without a big budget and without use of a lot of locations. Everyone involved does a good job; the film offers a muted colour palette from cinematographer Christian Lesperance which complements the film well. It delivers its message successfully and other than the obvious twist, it’s a short I can recommend. It will be interesting to see what Pelak does next and I think both the lead actors are ones to watch.


#MatthewSawyer