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average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Apr 28, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Michael Antonio Keane
Written by:
Michael Antonio Keane
Michael Antonio Keane, Ciara Kirby, Sarah Horgan

The title of the short film-Hoodwinkers refers to people who deceive or trick people. The writer-director Michael Antonio Keane has worked on the script with a right mix of comedy, drama, and suspense. This classroom drama grips its audience from the very start of the film.


The storyline of this creative piece revolves around a study session that transforms into a crazy party and now the students need to devise a method to pass their exams


The tracking shot and the mid-shot used by the cameraman along with the sound effect suggest the intensity of the opening scene. The filmmaker has used lighting effectively to create a contrast between the student and the interviewer to showcase the mental makeup of both the characters in the film. The inclusion of flashbacks is a smart tool to introduce subplots in the narrative. The use of voice modulation by both the characters builds up the tension in the scene. The set design, costume, hair, makeup, and jewelry all give a youthful vibe to the cinematic piece. The conversations that take place in the movie seem natural and effortless. It does not break the continuity of the plot. A shaky camera technique utilized during the party showcases the nervousness the students experience after they suddenly get a reality check. The young director Keane has explored and represented the relationship between MS Belle (Sarah Horgan) and Mr. Doyle (Dominic MacHale) in the story.


In terms of performance, Ciara Kirby plays the role of Peggy who is usually a teacher's pet but handles the situation quite maturely when put to test. The audience likes this change in Peggy's character arc.

Niamh Cremin is aptly suited to the character of Regina. She is like a group leader. She is a strong woman and knows how to be popular among people. The young actress Niamh Cremin exudes confidence through her body language.

Dominic MacHale plays Mr. Doyle in the story. He is very charming, supportive yet a strict teacher. Mr. Doyle is everyone's favorite student and teacher alike. MacHale effortlessly gets into the skin of the character. Dominic MacHale has a very powerful screen presence he tends to grab all the attention of the viewers.

Sarah Horgan as MS Belle is excellent with her comic timing. She adds the much-needed fun element to keep the mood of the audience happy and cheerful all through the film.


Hoodwinker transports the audience back to their school days. The film teaches us to be smart while having fun. It also prepares the viewers to not be afraid of the problems life throws at them. The short film shows the audience how one can strike a balance between studies and partying. Hoodwinkers also talks about the importance of taking individual decisions rather than following the majority of the students blindly.


This movie has added the outtakes just before the credits roll in. This move from the creative team of the film helps increase the degree of audience engagement with the film. I only feel that Michael Antonio Keane should have worked on the subtitle for the Irish audio piece.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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