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A Dishonourable Death: at Twenty-Seven Minutes Past Six

average rating is 5 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Mar 5, 2023

Film Reviews
A Dishonourable Death: at Twenty-Seven Minutes Past Six
Directed by:
Written by:
Christos Lawton, David Fulton, Roger Thomson, Claire Rafferty

A duel is taking place in 19th century England.


The location is Aylesbury, the year is 1837 and a carriage is traveling in the countryside. Inside are two gentlemen, George (Lawton) and Thompson (Fulton). They are on their way to meet a Chinese man for a duel between him and George. George believes that the Chinese man insulted his wife and he wants to get even. However, when they arrive at the arranged location, instead of the Chinaman, they encounter a family of travellers, consisting of Seamus (Thomson), his wife Catherine (Rafferty) and their young daughter. Things quickly get complicated and out of hand, resulting in terrible consequences.


From start to finish, this short dark comedy drama never ceases to impress, whether it is thanks to the entertaining and well-written dialogue, the terrific performances, the impressive mise-en-scene or the wonderful score.


Regarding the screenplay, the story is comical and kind of dark. Beginning with a quote by acclaimed English writer Samuel Johnson, the film then moves on to its rather sinister narrative involving revenge, murder, racism, social class conflict and...a special cane. There is plenty of dark humour, clever dialogue and some rather shocking and dramatic moments.


The outstanding cinematography BLOK is one of the best aspects of the film. There is a fun sequence where the film turns into an advert about a multi-purpose cane, which utilises creative cinematography, making the image look scratched and damaged. This sequence stands out significantly due to the creativity and Fulton's performance.


The characters are eccentric and all cast deliver dynamic and entertaining performances. Lawton's character is the main one, more of an anti-hero actually and he is an angry man determined to seek justice for his reputation.


The mise-en-scene is another area where this film succeeds immensely and this is thanks to Aartthie Mahakuperan. The costumes, carriage and pistols look genuine and effectively bring the viewer back to that time period.


Composer Pete Blyth is another person who makes a superb contribution. The music is rather creative and creates a sort of comedic and extraordinary atmosphere. The film is separated into chapters, each of which begins with a title card that contains the chapter's number and a quote by one of the characters. The title cards are also accompanied by the sound of a large bell and the ticking of a clock and praise also goes to these sound effects.


This short is approximately ten minutes long, yet thanks to creativity and massive effort, it has the production value of a mainstream feature. Directing duo BLOK have made an enjoyable and dark film that offers a memorable experience and it is exciting to think about what they will achieve in the future.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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