top of page


Small Talks

average rating is 3 out of 5


Alasdair MacRae


Posted on:

Aug 28, 2022

Film Reviews
Small Talks
Directed by:
George Sheard
Written by:
George Sheard
Charles Doherty, Hollie Hurrell

Taxi driver, Robert, (Charles Doherty) picks up a concerning fare one night in Chloe (Hollie Hurrell), a distressed young adult wanting to be dropped off at a nearby river. After the car breaks down Robert decides that he must intervene and talk to his passenger about her troubling behaviour.


Suicide prevention is a tricky topic to discuss, and director George Sheard has taken perhaps the riskiest approach to the issue, a literal discussion where a person tries to dissuade the other from attempting suicide. In this short, the two characters are given little-to-no background and the audience is thrust with them into this extreme situation. Almost the entirety of Small Talks is played out in mid-close up, shot/reverse shot, and with such little use of cinematic devices, it puts the weight of the drama on the actors and the script. The director has put the film on a very narrow and limited path to success with a steep fall-off on either side.


Fortunately, the writing and the performers selected are up to the task. Hollie Hurrell gives a striking performance as Chloe, lost in a desperate spiral of depression, hurt, and anger. Her frustration at her inability to communicate effectively conveys her trapped raw emotion. Charles Doherty is the likable Robert, tactfully attempting to counter the rapid descent without making matters worse, whilst also signalling a mutual understanding of Chloe’s situation. The pair manage to hold the gravity of the conversation for it to ultimately have a moving pay-off.


One noteworthy and a possibly controversial choice made in the short is that the word suicide is noticeably absent from the dialogue. Whilst this may help the dialogue in terms of the drama, with both characters carefully circling the topic whilst trying to skewer it, it actually goes against the current mental health guidelines of asking a person outright if they are thinking about committing suicide. Perhaps the most interesting discussion point considering Small Talks is otherwise such a literal film.


Whilst Small Talks does its best to make a rod for its own back, it does still carry emotional weight. The film’s successes can largely be boiled down to great performances from the lead actors, and a flawed but undeniably human script.

About the Film Critic
Alasdair MacRae
Alasdair MacRae
Short Film
bottom of page