top of page


Wheels Of Fortune

average rating is 3 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Sep 4, 2023

Film Reviews
Wheels Of Fortune
Directed by:
George Pack
Written by:
Milo Hickey
Darren Hill, James Graeme, Georgy Pleece

Wheels Of Fortune is actually a pretty decent name for a mobility scooter shop and in George Pack’s ten-minute debut short he uses one such establishment to tell the story of his main character, Eddie (Hill). Having taken over after his father’s (semi-)retirement, Eddie now finds himself in charge of the shop and all the burdens and responsibilities which that entails. He’s not finding it easy to keep things afloat, what with a couple of his hair-brained schemes coming to nothing and the shop-guy, Fred (Pleece) being as much use as a chocolate fireguard when it comes to dealing with customers. So, Eddie has hit on the idea of advertising – TV advertising specifically – and if he can just squeeze the money from his father (Graeme) to pay for a film crew he knows that he can get the business off the ground and make a success of the whole thing.


So, through the course of Wheels Of Fortune we watch as Eddie makes phone calls, picks up his dry-cleaning, visits his father in the nursing home and gets himself ready for his big close-up, as all the while he becomes increasingly frantic and begins to fall apart due to the pressure. Darren Hill does a very solid job of expressing Eddie’s ineptitude and nervousness, managing to come across as a self-centred, egotistical prick of a manager whilst also conveying the deep seated worry and weight that he carries around with him.


Unfortunately Hill tends to stand out as a bit of a one-man show as he is not so ably supported by those around him. James Graeme tends to miss a few beats as the disgruntled, disappointed patriarch, never really finding the tone of his character, while Georgy Pleece stumbles around in the background never really catching the audience’s eye as Fred. Any extra characters don’t have much about them at all and the scene in the launderette comes across as especially cringeworthy as the acting drops off a cliff during its runtime.


Partly to blame may well be the script from Milo Hickey which uses one-sided conversations to tell a lot of its story. While a major theme of the film may well be miscommunication, especially between generations, there is a genuine feeling of disconnect not just between the characters of the story, but also between the scenes of the film and this serves to bring a level of miscommunication between the film-makers and the audience, as it’s not always clear what the actual point to the story is.


Thankfully the work behind the camera is better handled and all technical aspects hold the production together well. Pack selects his shots with a good eye and thinks clearly about how each one will be achieved, with DoP Evan Bridges providing a good mix of static and dynamic placements which capture Eddie’s state of mind. The editing and sound design both fit seamlessly into Wheels Of Fortune, keeping the frantic, erratic nature of Eddie foremost in the viewer’s thoughts while also keeping the story moving at a good pace, enough to keep the runtime down to around ten minutes.


There is a definite feel of the gameshow around Wheels Of Fortune as the pressure, tempo and craziness all get ramped up towards the climax. The ‘here’s what you could’ve won’ final scene smacks of early evening Saturday entertainment, especially that which was interspersed with local, low-budget advertising, and there are shades (very, very light shades) of Rupert Pupkin as The King Of Comedy (1982) which come through. For a debut short at such a young age, Pack has created something which isn’t quite right and a bit rough around the edges but definitely something which benefits from repeat viewing and which is a very solid jumping off point for whatever he and his team decide to do next.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film
bottom of page