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A Little Glass of Rum

average rating is 3 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Jan 5, 2024

Film Reviews
A Little Glass of Rum
Directed by:
Carah Chafin
Written by:
Lauren Keller
Stuart Ford, Nick Mitchell, Kurt Shaw

What happens when your life falls apart? How do you react with the very world that you have created for yourself crumbling at your feet? That’s as much the question ‘A Little Glass of Rum’ wants to ask adjacently to its probing of morality, the virtues of revenge, and, whether some humans are born evil, or nurtured that way through their path of life. Whilst the thriller is engaging in how it evokes all these thoughts and questions in the audience, it is less engaging in the story that it is telling, which is largely obvious and feels uninspired in its direction.


‘A Little Glass of Rum’ begins basked in all-too rosy light and a smarmy upbeat tune as a happy family shoot great beaming smiles at one another in their all-too large garden next to their all-too large house. The son takes photos of his parents shooting looks of love at each other before his father, Stan Ailor (played by Stuart Ford) heads to his work as a prison guard. From that moment forth the film is notably more cold in it’s colour gradient, with hues of grey replacing the white, optimism of the opening. That night, we presume whilst Stan is at work, his wife and son are murdered brutally. This scene should be shocking and horrifying to the audience, and to an extent it is purely because of the content it displays, yet the juxtaposition of this scene and the previous one of optimism is perhaps too sharp. The happiness before feels overdone, and consequently the trauma that follows feels undercooked.


Naturally, three years later Stan is still feeling the pain of losing his family so brutally and so suddenly, it’s something that will live inside of him until the day that he dies. The killer, Kenneth (Nick Mitchell) is being held on death row at Stan’s prison, and, as Kenneth approaches his date of execution, the prison warden Dawson (Kurt Shaw) has granted that he share his last meal with the bereaved Stan. Though there is tension between the two as they sit down for dinner, this feels more circumstantial as a result of what the audience knows has happened rather than any sleight of hand by either director Carah Chafin.


Indeed, the directing feels uninspired throughout, failing to add any sort of emotion to what is on screen, and instead appearing cold and distant, yet lacking the precision necessary to justify such a directorial style. On the other hand, the script, written by Lauren Keller, is often thoughtful, evoking the biblical story of Cain and Abel, and asking theologically whether there is a higher power that guides our actions. Whilst Keller’s script examines Kenneth more plainly, it is how it slyly questions the psyche of Stan that actually makes the script intelligent, with the subtext of it all showing how Stan thinks now that his world has fallen apart. It is a shame, therefore, that neither Stuart Ford as Stan nor Nick Mitchell as Kenneth, deliver their lines in a way that would a) give the slightest impression of any chemistry between them, and b) give their characters the edge that the audience needs to care about any of it all, and which the script is trying to give them. It is a good script let down by blank performances.


Therefore, whilst ‘A Little Glass of Rum’ is well-written, with some good ideas philosophically, it does not come to form a good film, nor a good story, with the performances and directing notably lacking the same level of thought.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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