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average rating is 2 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Jan 24, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Daniel Mart
Written by:
Oli Hughes
Daryan Lyew-Ayee, Brian D. Long

The issue with ‘Corner’ is more what it fails to do rather than what it actually does. It’s a film which lacks any real purpose, with only a minor hint of a plot, and no attempt to preach a message, it ultimately amounts to little more than a dramatised recreation of events on consumer television.


Perhaps, that is a little harsh, ‘Corner’ is, at the very least competently directed by Daniel Mart, who seamlessly transitions from handheld to stationary camera perspective. Mart’s direction at least ensures that the events of the film are never dull - quite frankly a Florida-set story of drug dealign and addiction should never be - even if it’s power does start to wane towards the end of the slight five minute runtime as the office loses its earlier claustrophobic atmosphere.


We begin far from the Florida drug scene, at least we’re led to believe, as Wendell (Daryan Lyew-Ayee) appears to be in therapy with Dr. Tony Wikstrom (Brian D. Long). The specifics of their relationship are never clarified, making it difficult to establish any sense of normalcy in their interactions. We don’t know how long Wendell has been seeing the doctor, frankly we don’t even know if Wikstrom is a therapist. This sums up the overall lack of… well, anything, in ‘Corner’. It is far too sparse in it’s interactions, it’s characterisation, and in it’s story.


The viewer is left feeling as though they’ve been awkwardly thrust into a position which they’re expected to understand, despite being offered zero context to the events in question. It’s like when you subconsciously people-watch while on a train. You’ll never know these people, you don’t know the full circumstances, but as you overhear their phone call you can’t help but paint a picture of the topic of their conversation. We don’t know why Wendell is in therapy - though he clearly appears to be a troubled young man, we don’t know anything about his past other than that he experienced some trauma whilst dealing drugs over a couple of nights in Florida. He never becomes a fully realised figure, and this is because the story around him fails in the exact same way.


Even when we are briefly taken back to Wendell’s time dealing drugs on the streets of Florida the story lacks any direction. It kind of just meanders around - there is one key encounter, but the significance of this isn’t highlighted to the degree which it should be in the moments in therapy. Additionally, the film lacks any tension - at no stage did I feel scared, or any other feelings, for any of the characters. This isn’t helped by the writing, which in addition to it’s very obvious lack of narrative thrust, is extremely forced in its dialogue, which lacks any subtext, hence the lack of message.


Without any narrative thrust to propel it forward, you’d at least hope to find rich characters or funny moments, yet ‘Corner’ bafflingly lacks either. It is a film which ostensibly lacks a purpose, yet is too short to be labelled boring. Good things may be around the corner for director Daniel Mart, but this mess of a short should be avoided.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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