5 Jun 2022
James Treloar, Justin Rosniak, Anthony Hayes
Anthony Hayes, Roslyn Oades
Jarrod (Hayes) is a man on the edge. He's got a lot on his mind, there's things he's got to do and he's in a rush. The last thing he needs right now is for the Sat Nav (voiced by Roslyn Oades) to start playing up and sending him in the wrong direction. If only he can make it to Outlook Road he knows that everything will be alright, but darn, blast and fudge if that Sat Nav seems to be deliberately not playing ball.
Jarrod plays as a short, eight minute chamber piece with the protagonist being shut up in his car for the entirety of the movie. Comparisons to Locke(2013) are inevitable and Jarrod tries to ramp up the tension as quickly as possible through difficult conversations and constant outside interruptions. Director and co-writer Justin Rosniak wants you to think of Jarrod as its own thing though, which is easy enough, as the comparisons don't last long beyond a tense man in a car scenario.
What happens in Jarrod, rather than a steady, tight ratcheting up of the drama, is that Hayes (who is credited as a co-writer) shows you how tense he is by shouting a lot and dropping a ridiculous amount of F-bombs. There can't have been a lot gong on in the writer's room that day, as when we watch Jarrod driving around, getting sent this way and that, ending up in the dead end of nowhere, we also have to listen to him littering the air with no less than fifty-seven F-words and a few other four letter friends, so much so that there's not a lot of room for him to say much else.
By this token, plot appears to get blown out of the exhaust in a haze of expletives and it can be hard for the viewer to see anything else going on under the bonnet of the film. Rosniak has again said that there's something different happening with Jarrod and has alluded to a play on the theme of 'Guidance' which informs on what is actually going on with him on this fateful night. Repeat viewings do bear this out somewhat, but in order to find the slivers of story which make Jarrod's journey meaningful you have to again be willing to take his tirade of abuse for another fabulously fun, fudge filled eight minutes.
For what is essentially a well made film in its technical aspects, Jarrod's non-existent scripting and half-hidden plot stop it from becoming a good idea well realised. There should be more to this that brings you in and sells Jarrod's character to you, but in the end all you get is a guy spinning his steering wheel around and saying 'F***' a lot.