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What Men Do For Love

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Jun 29, 2024

Film Reviews
What Men Do For Love
Directed by:
Sai Karan Talwar
Written by:
Sai Karan Talwar
Jerome Wright, Morgan Scriven

A dentist is holding captive the man who has been sleeping with his wife.


Shot in black-and-white, this short has a narrative that takes place in real time and was filmed as one fifteen-minute-long take. The setting is a large room with limited lighting, perhaps a storeroom. Martin (Scriven) is a youngster and he is tied to a chair that is tied to a pillar. His captor is Charles (Wright), a middle-aged dentist who has very negative feelings towards Martin because he has been having an affair with his wife, Brenda.


What starts out as a revenge story turns into much more, as the two guys engage in a dramatic conversation filled with accusations, insults, sarcasm, self-reflection, shouting and profanity. In the beginning it appears to be a life-and-death situation, looking like Charles is about to exact terrible revenge on his defenceless prisoner. However, Martin manages to turn the tables by criticizing Charles of not been a worthy husband, pointing out his age in particular. Martin's resilient and offensive behaviour sets off a long verbal exchange, with each man expressing their point of view regarding the present situation, Brenda and what love is. As Martin constantly berates Charles and shows no remorse, Charles finds himself reflecting on his role as a husband and the two of them end up building a sort of rapport.


This is a confrontation between two angry individuals and both Wright and Scriven are superb in their performances, delivering a great deal of drama. Wright plays a simple man who is torn apart by his partner's adultery and wants to get even, however he embarks on a journey of self-reflection instead. Scriven's character is an aggressive and stubborn man who sees no wrong in his actions.


Since the entire film is one long take at the same location, it feels like watching a play and commendations go to the methodical camerawork, with the camera continuously moving around from one character to the other, making face close-ups or having both people in the frame.


The fact that the film is in black-and-white makes the dark atmopshere even darker thanks to Joshua Carrington Birch's work on the cinematography.


This thriller is a dramatic story about infidelity, revenge and self-reflection. It is the aftermath of a forbidden affair, which has led to a tense situation where a man ends up learning from his captive. The intriguing plot, strong acting and admirable camerawork are the main elements that make this short a gripping viewing from start to finish.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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