top of page


Care & Repair

average rating is 3 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Sep 21, 2023

Film Reviews
Care & Repair
Directed by:
Michael Cooke
Written by:
Michael Cooke
Michael Cooke, Hunter Bishop, John Cooke, Duncan Airlie James, Perry Costello

The people whom we allow into out homes to carry out repair work are allowed a strange amount of freedom. The plumbers, the builders, the electricians all delve far deeper into the bowels of our homes than most homeowners ever do, gaining access to areas which we ordinarily wouldn’t grant permission. Such is the case in ‘Care & Repair’, an intriguing film, though one that does feel rather disappointingly undercooked.


We’re first introduced to two guys desperately waiting in a van, Stevie (Michael Cooke) and Neil (Hunter Bishop), for their colleague and Stevie’s brother, John (John Cooke). The cut to why they’re waiting for John is amongst the finest moments in the film, and an example of the black humour inherent to the script. The camaraderie between the three is immediately clear when John eventually arrives, as they travel to their hard-nosed, no-nonsense boss Geo (Duncan Airlie James), who instructs them to work - they are plumbers - on an elderly mans (Perry Costello) bathroom.


Though they are all working class brothers in arms, it is immediately clear that there is a hierarchy amongst the trio, who all succumb to the imposing Geo. Stevie and Neil are evidently more experienced and assured than John, and they clearly know it, ordering him around and chastising his mistakes. John is the source of much of their frustration, particularly as he and Stevie attempt to carry out the boiler tank. Throughout John can be found asking what to do and how to do it, or else on his phone distracted whilst the others work. It does not make him an endearing character, and the film suffers for it, with John supposed to be a sympathetic figure, when in reality he appears more of a coward and a liability, particularly following the films big twist.


Furthermore, the brotherhood and strong ties of friendship which are supposed to tie the three men together only become weaker as the film progresses. Though the camaraderie is clear, it never feels as though Stevie and Neil are truly on John’s side, more interested in saving their own skins than that of the hapless John. Indeed, they become antagonising towards John when things start to fall apart in their operation, further desecrating both the familial and friendship ties between them.


Despite this, ‘Care & Repair’ remains an interesting watch throughout, with each characters reactions to the twist particularly interesting, and the dark humour embedded within Michael Cooke’s script frequently funny. Michael Cooke’s direction is also of the highest quality, with numerous engaging shots that further play into the films humour. This is helped by the screen presence of the actors, who are all engaging in their own ways, and have a natural chemistry that reflects that of the characters on screen.


‘Care & Repair’ is a film that carries interest more than its quality perhaps deserve, with weaker story elements and niggling issues in the script dragging it down. Despite this, it remains intriguing, if only to see where plot points and characters will end up when put in a scenario totally out of their depth.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
bottom of page