The Director: Review

The Director

By Dan Sareen.

The premise of this short film is childishly simple. Film director Patrick is making a documentary about the homeless, and follows and annoys homeless man Liam in order to get the inside scoop. Along the way, Patrick does everything he can to try and make himself look good, without actually helping Liam out of his predicament. The two sit on the street together, and Patrick accosts a man who tries to buy Liam food for making him look bad. They go to a shelter, where Patrick tries to chat up one of the female workers. And maybe worst of all, Patrick brings Liam home to play charades with his friends.

Perhaps the best mockumentary of all time is This is Spinal Tap. Most of the genius comedy in Spinal Tap relies on the fact that the characters are really very stupid, and their ideas and the things they say are extremely stupid. The Director tries to follow that formula, giving us a character that should be very easy to laugh at. Patrick is a Made in Chelsea millennial; self obsessed and completely unaware of his actions. His self serving attitude and ignorance in the face of Liam’s situation are the root most of the comedy, but unfortunately many of the jokes are a little mistimed, or are too obvious to find funny. The saving grace of the piece is Mark Keegan, whose performance as Liam is real enough to gain our sympathies.

It is unclear whether the film is meant to be taken as a comment on homelessness or not. On one hand, perhaps the film is trying to draw our attention to the fact that the problem of homelessness still exists. If this is the case, the film fails to offer any kind of solution or helpful course of action for us to take, simply telling us what not to do, which should be pretty obvious anyway. On the other hand, the short could merely be a shallow character study, indicated by the title, of a silly young man trying to promote himself. This take makes the film seem unoriginal in its intention and, unfortunately unsuccessful in its objective.

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