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The ending is a bit of a let-down but the majority is driven by Mamet
Richard Williams is an ex-pilot and military man who is starting to feel his age with a birthday coming up and a wife much younger than him. As she starts to act mysertiously and secretively he thinks perhaps a surprise party is in the making but a parking ticket suggests she is lying to him. He turns to his friend Vaughn to help him investigate.
With many of the Chanticleer short films that I have seen the mood has been mostly light and comic and they don't feel like "proper" meaty films. With Texan though the writing of Mamet keeps that feeling at bay until the very end. I wasn't sure what the story was about until the very end but up till then it had a steady tense air about it that was enjoyable and kept me very much engaged. The delivery of the film is strong but the credit should mostly lie with Mamet's writing because it has a great pace and every conversation becomes more interesting as a result of his ear for dialogue. It is a shame that the ending doesn't live up to what has gone before but mostly it will be enjoyed by those that like Mamet.
Of course Treat Williams does well to structure it so as to engage from the start and also hold the air necessary to sustain the tension and he does well as director while also taking a small role within the film. Coleman is the star and he is a strong character from the start. Delany is a bit more obvious as she is asked to be sinister and mysterious but she is still good at it. Support is not only roundly good but also features a lot of famous faces and Mamet regulars in Macy, Durning and Kehler.
Overall this is a strong short film that uses Mamet's script well to deliver a tense story that plays off the singsong dialogue well. The cast all deliver the script well, with the right pace even if they don't always convince as words real people say while Williams understands the tone of the material and directs well. The ending isn't that strong but fans of Mamet will find much to enjoy here.
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