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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An OK attempt but needed to be cleverer and funnier to work

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
11 December 2005

When a man receives an email advertising a new way of connecting to the internet, he receives the stylish black Praemus unit to attach to his hard drive. The quick connection is offset by the problems he has with the billing, unexplained screen outages and constant crashing. His attempts to contact the manufacturers only lead to frustrating while the Praemus unit itself starts to take on a more sinister appearance.

This short starts well enough and sets up a nicely comic story that gradually becomes more sinister. It could have been good but instead it loses its way by not being tight enough or clever enough in the delivery. The early stages are interesting but not funny enough, although it does build a good air of mystery. As the film turns a bit darker it doesn't grow like it should because it can't control the mood well enough and stays this sort of sinister/comic mix that doesn't quite work. The concept behind it doesn't come through and the overall impression is one of being disjointed rather than being effective and impacting.

The main actor does quite well but the problem lies with the direction and writing because it is the total delivery where the problems exist. It is a shame because it was interesting earlier on but the more it went on the less it delivered. Overall a good try but one that gradually falls down as it fails to become more than an interesting idea.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: hels-dunleavy from United Kingdom
21 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This short is simply brilliant. A tight little satire that manages to muse on the declining standards of customer services and our acceptance of such, our perverted relationship to product hype and pervasiveness in our lives at the same time as poking fun at both reasonable and paranoid assessment of our vulnerability to malevolent corporations and crossing that line into complete dependency.

(Mild Spoiler here)Probably the most delightful touch of all might not have been predicted - the computer equipment at the centre is intentionally ridiculous but the story doesn't bother referencing the cutting edge in computers themselves at all, instead focussing on complaint correspondence. This has the added benefit of making it still watchable today. Referencing what phones or laptops or real companies were considered cutting edge at the time would have aged it straight away and their absence does the opposite.

What makes the film is the tone, balancing the silly drama and the distancing style. As the previous review suggests some people consider the start to be the best bit but the rest not making the most of the potential of the idea. Personally I take it that everything in it (right down to the super low quality effects in the middle) is deliberate and only taken as far as needs to be. The nuanced touches, some completely daft, some so subtle they initially don't seem out of place at all, are brilliant. And added to that it's delightful viewing for anyone who loves spotting the incestuousness of British comedy casting, which might be considered unusual for a short if this were not Linehan's baby.

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Comedy for the simple mind

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
10 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Hello, Friend" is an 11-minute short film from the UK, written and directed by Irish filmmaker Graham Linehan, who is mostly known today for "The IT Crowd". I have not seen that series, so I don't know if he has improved in the last decade, but this short film here is a disappointment. It is pretty painful to see how the script tries so hard to be funny and witty at the same time, yet comes short in both areas and it's not even close. The acting did not help either. Dramatic relevance was tried to achieve by including random heart attacks and the humor goes over the top instead of on the spot. A disappointing achievement and overall the film's really only good feature is that it is over fairly quickly. Do not watch.

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