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Miss Scarlet

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The Puppet (2002)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Dark, funny, engaging entertainment!, 15 September 2002

Imagine the scene. A dark office, late at night. Six terrified hostages in a corner, one dead. A crazed captor with a gun, but who is calling the shots? The Puppet of course. In this case, the puppet is a grotesque foetus-like creature nestling on the hand of the main character, Neil, played brilliantly by Ned Dennehy. In this captivating and commercially styled short film, we are engaged totally by the struggle of power and control of the situation between the man, Neil, who is good and the dominant and psychotic character of Morgan the puppet. I was amazed that despite the film being so short at around eight minutes and also low budget, it has a quality to it born of several factors. The production value is high, the mood of the piece is dark and the camera work and editing slickly styled to make the most of every second. The moody original soundtrack (by composer Liam Bates) is excellent, setting the pace and increasing the tension of the film. More than anything else, the performance and direction of the main character(s) of Neil and the puppet Morgan is what draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat for eight sweet dark minutes. It is almost as if Ned Dennehy was two people, Neil's character is so weak and stuttering, whereas Morgan barks orders in a demonic little voice that has the audience nervously shifting in their seats at this bizarre spectacle. Morgan seems the personification of Neil's frustrated anger at his seeming isolation. This is all the more emphasised by the intriguing title graphic sequence showing Neil standing aloof at office parties, always the loner. Morgan is the tragic result of of the loner office worker pushed too far over the edge by the inhumanity of the corporate world. This second short film from Irish director Ciaran Foy shows continuity and tremendous ability with both actors and the camera. It is a must- see. Check it out at Sitges Film Festival 2002 and also at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, both in October.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
This short is everything that a short film should be!, 30 June 2002

I've seen this short film at several festivals now, and I can't believe that the director hasn't been snapped up yet! This short is everything that a short film should be! It delves into the story of Eve for just the right amount of time at a pivotal moment in her life. The editing is finely tuned, there are no unnecessary shots. The director has a lean style of telling the story that draws you in and keeps you on your toes. The pace of the edits and the beats of the soundtrack is quite exhillerating to watch. In many ways the style is of a high quality commercial, but the thing that makes this film different is the tight Aristotilian script. The reversals of the story come in all the right places, but at the same time you can allow it to work on you without it being predictable. The mood is dark and paranoid with echoes of similar anti- corporate films such as Falling Down and Aliens.It just has everything; great script, sense of style, good performances and special effects. I really enjoyed this short swift slap in the face. Surely the talents of it's outstanding director Ciaran Foy will be recognised?