17 Nov 2021
Torri Yates-Orr, Jessejames Locorriere, Patricia Taber, Parker Bradway, Mykie Fisher
A troubled police officer trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one must resolve a hostage-taking situation.
Ashley (Orr) is a young member of the police force who is dealing with the aftermath of a devastating loss. Her life has been turned upside down and she sees a therapist who appears to be unable to help her. Then someone claims to be holding three people as hostages in an abandoned storehouse and she, along with a large number of armed police officers rush to the scene. The perpetrator has left a note on the front door of the building which says that he has lost all purpose in life and also contains a phone number for people to contact him and three names that are apparently the names of the hostages. After a tense conversation, the captor agrees to let Ashley enter and talk to him, as he is covinced that she understands what he is going through.
This is a very tense thriller with nail-biting moments that take the viewer on quite a ride. There is threat, drama, people pointing guns at each other, a great deal of fear that someone is going to get killed and the chances that there is going to be a peaceful resolution seem rather slim. However, the two main themes in this story are grief and the importance of empathy. The hostage taker (Locorriere) is a man who is torn apart by the death of a person who meant the world to him and he believes that Ashley might be able to explain to him how someone can keep on going after that person is gone.
The screenplay effectively explores the lives of Ashley and the perpetrator. Ashley is a strong and determined person who struggling to cope with a loss and her life life has become lonely and empty and Orr brings this character to life very convincingly. Locorriere delivers an outstanding performance as a broken and dangerous man who is desperate to find out if there is meaning in life after someone has lost the person who was so important to them. Both protagonists play characters who have lived different lives but are now partially similar due to the loss that they have experienced and neither of them seems to know how to deal with their loss.
The mise-en-scene is quite interesting and it includes police cars and a large number of uniformed police officers, armed with a variety of guns and wearing protective gear. When Ashley enters the storehouse, the well-organised surroundings and lighting create a rather sinister and menacing atmosphere and give the impression that she is entering another world, one that is dark and hopeless.
Ryan Taubert makes a great contribution with the music, which accompanies the scenes very well, especially when the situations are dramatic and tense. Aaron Seldon delivers wonderful cinematography.
This is a very well made short film that contains strong acting and an intriguing plot that focuses on the lives of two people who are going through unbearable emotional pain. Some scenes will keep the audience on the edge of their seat, while others are moving. To conclude, this is an achievement that stands out.