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Double Zero

average rating is 3 out of 5


Amber Jackson


Posted on:

Dec 21, 2022

Film Reviews
Double Zero
Directed by:
Pat Bradley
Written by:
Pat Bradley
Caroline Anderson and Vivian Belosky

Double Zero is a concept short film which is an idea for a television series that the filmmakers are looking to produce. A darkly written crime drama that is very mature in theme, it places two mid-level criminals, Olivia and Diana, being forced to play a game of Russian Roulette with a ruthless criminal ‘boss’ to see who survives the night. However, the game comes with a twist and does not take the route that viewers may expect from a criminal series. Written, directed and produced by Pat Bradley, this film showcases some potential if the idea was to be developed further into a series format.


Filmed in an immersive way, the camera being shaky works to this films advantage particularly during more action-based scenes. This makes the primarily darkly lit locations foreboding and unforgiving, with plenty of close-up shots to increase intensity. By deciding to film in New York City itself, Pat Bradley ensures that his short film is able to completely express the thrilling ongoings of a criminal underworld in this way. From a filming perspective, this is a film that has been very well conceptualised with regards to its cinematography. Its look allows it to feel very much like a criminal underworld that viewers are not yet familiar with and are therefore keen to explore it. It begs the thrilling question: what happens next?


Great performances are given by Olivia (Caroline Anderson) and Diana (Vivian Belosky) as they are incredibly expressive from the offset as two criminals, and perhaps even friends, who work together. Their dialogue and close dynamic intrigue the viewer, forcing them to consider which direction their story will go in. They are well-established characters and thrown immediately into the action and a surprisingly positive aspect of this concept is that all of the key cast members are women, which is refreshing for a stereotypically male film genre. It is fair to say that Olivia and Diana are written in a more gender-blind way, which is exciting to see in a proof. However, some of their dialogue is not necessarily believable within context, which is certainly a debate point over how women should versus should not be written in a crime drama.


Double Zero starts out very well with establishing two strong female characters, as the viewer sees that they both have very strong personal agency. However, their power diminishes throughout the twenty-minute snapshot and, despite it being acceptable that character dynamics will inevitably shift, its direction does fall a little flat in the middle. This is mostly due to the fact that the effective tension that was created at the beginning fizzles out and leaves the latter half of the piece with an underwhelming sensation. As this is only the snapshot of the proposed series, there is still hope that the story will develop further and perhaps pick back up.


It will be interesting to see if this short film gets developed as a series and which direction the storyline is taken in. In particular, it would be fantastic if the female characters continue to be multi-layered, but also developed even more to show layers to the direction of their story. Olivia and Diana are shown to be flawed characters which is exciting, and the hope is that their personalities are relatable too. Time and time again, women will continue to get ‘screwed over’ on screen within the crime genre in particular in terms of personal development and storyline, and so the hope is that Double Zero continues to expand as there is real potential for the show to represent women clearly and authentically.


Whilst this short film is good and brilliantly executed in its own right, the direction that it takes leaves the viewer feeling unsure as to where the story can grow and progress further. Despite this uneasiness, it is an enjoyable watch.

About the Film Critic
Amber Jackson
Amber Jackson
Short Film
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