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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crime of Passion Turns Into Obsession In Short Film "Hand Job"

"HAND JOB" (2015)
Genre: Erotic Crime Thriller
Length- 11:18
Company:  Red Maple Media

* This film contains scenes of frank sexual content that should not be viewed by children.  Viewer discretion is advised.

A young wife (Astrid Ovelles) is interviewed by a man (Christian Thom) about the murders of her husband and his two lovers.  As the conversation continues, a number of questions can't help but be raised: why does she show no remorse over the killings?  Why is the interviewer obsessed with this young woman?

And why . . . why these hands?

A DIFFERENT TACK

We've all seen about a million crime films over the course of our moviegoing lives.  There have been so many different adultery-murder films, with every single possible twist turned on this particular plot, that it is almost impossible to find something that we haven't seen before.

Writer/director Ziyad Saadi (we reviewed his "Hello, My Name is Death" not long ago) took a different path on the adultery-murder crime film with his latest short film, and he went all out with it.  I can't say too much without spoiling the short, because literally it's a one note punch line, but I can say that there's characters obsessed with the hands of a killer, thus the camera focuses on hands the entire time.  Visually, that's it.  As entertaining as some of the dialogue is -- and the actors do a pretty good job -- it can't save the static images onscreen.

Film is a visual medium.  If my eyes aren't doing anything, inevitably the movie fails.

The conclusion was also a bit of a headscratcher.  It might have been satisfying for the characters, but it didn't do anything for me, and it seriously cheapened the movie for me.

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing:  1.5 / 5.  How is this interview taking place?  At first I thought the interviewer was a police investigator, but obviously not.  Is he from the media?  I also find it extremely hard to believe one woman could strangle two other women simultaneously without being physically overpowered.  All this thrown aside, the story didn't go anywhere, no questions were answered.
Directing: 1 / 5.  The entire film is literally just looking at Ovelles' hands, and then we conclude with a split screen.  There's no directorial composition whatsoever.
Editing: 1 / 5.  The movie feels SO long, especially what with there being no visual movement.
Sound/Music: 1.5 / 5.  The dialogue is fuzzy but easy to hear.  The music at the finale comes in very loud and it's extremely distracting and, to my ears, inappropriate in terms of tone.
Acting: 3 / 5.  Not bad at all.  Ovelles and Thom did the best they could with the material they were given and gave pretty fearless performances.  I give a tip of the hat to both of them for a job well done.

Final Grade: 1.6 / 5.

I will post a link to "Hand Job" when it sees its official release online!



Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!