Oct 5, 2023
Darian Aikens, Stuart Forbes, Shawn Harsh, Alden McDonald, Edward Padron, Marcel L Reyes
Two men invade a television studio broadcast and demand that the information regarding the manufacture of a new drug becomes public.
IMC, an American pharmaceutical company, has created a revolutionary drug that succeeds dramatically in defeating diseases and it is being marketed as 'Daily Bread', as it is to be taken daily. Now, because of this, three individuals are at a the studio for Prime Report, a broadcast television channel, to share their opinions about the drug. These three people are Evelyn (McDonald), the Vice President of IMC, Dr. Hanning (Aikens), a Professor of Psychology and Benjamin (Harsh), an author and journalist. Simon (Forbes) is the host. However, Terry (Padron) and Jose (Reyes) have other plans: armed with guns, they disrupt the proceedings, take everyone hostage (including the staff in the control room) and demand that ICM reveals the components that lead to the creation of Daily Bread.
This short is quite a ride, a hostage situation filled with tension and satire about politics and healthcare. After a brief introduction to the two soon-to-be hostage takers, the studio interview begins, with the three guests having contradicting opinions. Naturally, Evelyn supports the drug, while Hanning questions whether it is affordable for everyone and Benjamin is just utterly against it. Things change when Terry and Jose make their unexpected appearance, with the interview turning into a life-and-death situation, yet the humour remains, with the focus now being mainly on Jose as he tries to be strong and convincing about his demands. The screenplay comically explores issues such as the American healthcare system, government flaws, capitalism, rebellion and social inequalities and also self-esteem.
The characters are rather interesting and the actors do a great job with their comedic performances. Reyes is the one who steals the show as a Hispanic, religious member of an organisation called PEF (People's Equality Front) and he shouts and gets more and more desperate as things unfold. Interestingly, he wears a mask that resembles the Guy Fawkes mask in V for Vendetta, which could be a reference to the 2005 film and therefore indicates that he and Terry are rebelling against an unjust system (like in the movie). Terry takes over the people in the control room and watches with pride as Jose takes control. Simon is an obnoxious TV presenter and from the three interviewees, it is Benjamin who stands out the most with his eccentric and childish behaviour, as he swears, smokes and drinks.
Composers Ethan Mack and Kathal Larkin make a great contribution with an interesting score that contains violin melodies and credit also goes to Vic Chan for the beautiful cinematography.
This short is certainly worth one's time, whether they view it for the themes that it explores or just as hostage-taking dark comedy drama. The cliffhanger ending may end up being unsatisfying to some, however the film is an entertaining and thoughtful experience.