Due to a veiwing platform bug, this started playing alongside a very loud rendition of Irish Folk, the Chieftains, IIRC. Added to the film pleasure quite a lot. Having found out about the issue halfway through, the quiet background of the film also worked, bit it just wasn't the same.
The focus on characters and the presence of a twisted mindset help a short film that is too predictable as where it is going, failing to surprise with any of the dark humor punchlines that it tries out. A short film that gives a perfect notion of what "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" also is, an overcrowded and mood shifting film where great actors bail out the director.
The dark humour and surreal elements of McDonagh's later work are already very evident in this short, but not even Brendan Gleeson's natural subtlety and compassionate presence can raise the material above its basic two-dimensional qualities: pyrotechnically impressive but lacking in depth.
At first this looks like a typical Irish short: some blood, straight speaking, dark humor. A day later, I remembered this short as an excercise on compassion. The main character has a range of people with fates similar to his, but the one person he empatized with, is a totally different man. This movie is about how little it takes to empatize. The ending — expectation vs reality — is great.
It's not sick or twisted humor, that would have some anthropological interest. It's not black humor, nor ink-black, not cynical, all of which require a moral stance in relation to the world. It is not sincere; we would feel the sympathy or empathy. This is a different cynicism than the synopsis proposes: it is merely an attempt to gain attention. It is a sad thing it was made, even sadder that MUBI promotes it.
This really is the epitome of a black comedy. The humour is sharp, cunning, and of course dark as hell. I guess for some this film might just cross the line into the territory of obscene, so be warned - it is definitely not for everyone. But if you appreciate daring and (brutally) honest cinema, you will not regret - top performances, interesting characters, and the 27-minute running time all work just perfect!
I enjoyed the fact that grief and melancholy being the primary-emotion driver in a film need make it any slow or any less thrilling. Martin McDonagh achieves subtle switches in the many darker shades of human emotion without getting preachy or melodramatic - and that by itself is admirable. Watch it if you will!
So, weird experience, I didn't realize this was a short till it abruptly ended. And immediately I got why I'd spent the last 20 minutes wondering where he could possibly be *going* with this ;) In a perfect world I'd rewatch it now, knowing it was a short. But, it's not really the sort of film you rewatch. Directorially, it's still a little immature/surfacey. Has something, just not yet enough... Still, cute. 2.75
Short yet interesting to say the least. a lot of humor by coincidence. The play of having all characters on the train with a common first location of the day is what sparked the thought for me. Connections aren't made until the end eve though the answer is clearly set within the first 30 seconds. Would recommend for snarky people who kind if like a tale to figure out beore said.