May 12, 2023
Asad Panjwani, Ciaran Cochlan
I don't know about you but for me when somebody mentions the global pandemic, says the words COVID-19, or talks about the millions dead from a fatal, modern, mutative coronavirus, the first thing that comes to mind certainly isn't comedy. This seems to have been the case, however, for writer/director Rakesh Jaitly as he decided to pen and shoot his own little short film named Bad Blood to throw a bit of comic relief into the total bummer of a situation that those of us who lived through it called 'lockdown' and 'social distancing'.
To be fair to Jaitly the subject of social distancing, and in particular the idea of always having to keep two metres apart from each other, does have an inherently comedic leaning within it, especially if you imagine the likes of Monty Python's Flying Circus or The Fast Show lampooning the ridiculousness of the situation through a series of scenarios and sketches. It does, however, come down to how you approach the topic and the types of situations that you force your characters into which will determine just how funny your piece is going to be.
Jaitly introduces us to his short film with a quick flash of a Tarantinoesque title card and an immediate jump into the action as two ne'er-do-wells, both in cuffs, with one who has managed to get a hand free (Cochlan) and the other who still has both hands behind his back (Panjwani), rush out of an underpass and head out onto the street to begin their long walk to freedom. They don't get very far though, as at the entrance to a park maybe five steps away from reaching street level, they stop to have a bit of argy-bargy with one another.
What follows within the short four minute runtime is a witless, joke free, unfunny exchange with a little bit of unfathomable play fighting thrown in for some kind of measure. There's an attempt at expositional dialogue to offer a modicum of justification for the scenario, which involves a drug deal gone wrong, but in actuality there's no reason for or point to this nonsense. You can see that Jaitly is trying in his direction with a couple of shots which differ from the regular switch from close-up to close-up, but while he affords himself credits for cinematography and editing there's really nothing going on there at all.
Bad Blood is a tone deaf 'comedy' which misses the point by not being funny at all and even though it's only four minutes long it's not even worth that much of your time.