Jake (Eric Tabach) works as a video editor for a local news programme and he reports to live anchor, Tim (Zachary Booth) who is the face that people see when they want to know the facts. Jake is lucky enough to be able to work from home as he has all the equipment he needs, but being alone for a long time is, well, lonely.
So, when he’s not editing, he’s dreaming of what it would be like to be in front of the camera and not the faceless editor that he is. Then one day Jake gets sent some shocking footage of an important political figure who was gunned down during a routine check by the police. However, what seemed to be a tragic incident holds more secrets as the evidence is revealed to Jake and he realises that there may have been more to the murder.
Dashcam is a political thriller in the same vein as The Conversation from which it is clearly inspired, although brought right up to date. An ambitious project taken from Christian Nilsson’s short film which achieved great success, Dashcam is the feature debut of the seasoned journalist turned writer/director.
Like The Conversation, Dashcam shows its audience everything that it has to offer, but doesn’t hold their hands. So, those expecting everything to be explained to them may be lost if they’re not paying complete attention. However, this is where the direction holds its strength because it follows Jake’s efforts to uncover the truth throughout so there is no stone unturned and no avenue unexplored.
Thankfully though, Dashcam isn’t completely tied to its premise, so while it attempts to tell its story almost entirely through audio and visual recordings, it knows when to take a breath. Getting to know Jake more, the audience realises his insecurities and his enthusiasm, so when he does realise what’s going on, the audience is rooting for him to do the right thing.
However, there could have been a little less of unnecessary conversations with his friends over Zoom and one big scene which lays out the plot in detail.
Saying that though, Dashcam is tense throughout and will draw in those conspiracy theorists who love nothing better than a film with an intriguing plot. Well devised and put together, Dashcam could be the reinvention of the political thriller as we know it.
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