Innocence: Review

Innocence: Review

An intriguing who-done-it crime story with grizzly twists and turns, Innocence tells the daring story of care home patient Dylan (Tommy Jessop), a young man who has Down syndrome, as he is relentlessly questioned over the mysterious death of worker Micheal (Richard Glover).

The film profoundly questions the role of disabled actors and characters within the film, and the notion that they are predominantly typecasted as victims. Director Ben Reid wrote upon the film website that the intention of Innocence was to portray a strong character who has Down syndrome for his younger brother Tom, who also has Down syndrome. Reid states:

“This drove me to make INNOCENCE, giving Tom the character he’s always been denied and shining a light on the fact people with Down syndrome are more capable and intelligent than most people believe.”

The most compelling component of Innocence is the constant hurricane of a story the film brings you on. A rollercoaster of half-truths, Innocence feels superbly thought through, with a well-written script which is remarkably fleshed out. What the script did well was to provide a wonderfully paced short, feeding the audience with a constant drip-feed of information whilst hiding the reveal successfully until the final moments.

The character of Dylan (Tommy Jessop) feels three dimensional and fluid as the lead, with Jessop playing the part beautifully, the character is most definitely the highlight of the short, bringing a wealth of confidence to the role.

Despite this, though, the other characters do feel somewhat flavourless in comparison, feeling underwhelming, and as if they are reading directly off the script. This frustrating pot-hole turns the other-wise brilliantly professional short into more of an amateur feeling student film, although in general, it is somewhat forgivable, as the plot manages to uphold the majority of the short.

Innocence is a pocket-sized crime drama you should definitely consider watching. Not only does it fit an incredible plot filled into its 20 minute margin, but it also questions the role of disabled actors within the industry, not only that but it acts upon the issue, telling a suspensefully unforgettable story in the process. 

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Alex is a massive film nerd with a soft spot for 70's film and Korean cinema. His favourites include Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Warriors, Thirst and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.


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