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Endgame (2005)
A very good short film, 23 February 2011

As a movie fan, my approach to watching a short film is usually clouded with uncertainty and reluctance. Reason being that because of the time frame or constraints, there is only so much the filmmaker can do to capture your attention, let alone your imagination. I have to say that there are a few short films that are able to achieve this and Endgame is one of them. Most people know the general gloomy story about the on going troubles in Northern Ireland. It's a complicated conflict that requires extreme sensitivity and caution, especially from the filmmaker when telling this story. Endgame has taken on a complex narrative and put it under a microscope so to strip off any preconceptions and depict a poignant human story.

Set in a gritty neighbourhood somewhere in the urban sprawls of Northern Ireland. With great effect, the filmmaker uses clever camera angles and provocative movement techniques to enhance the whole experience. Starting off in a mellow pace as so to give the audience a gentle introduction. The film then bursts into a sporadic violent sequence that will have you clutching your chair's armrests. What follows on from there can only be described as a severe turn of events that will certainly make you want to watch the film again. This is what happened to me when I saw Endgame for the first time. You feel that you have to watch it again but this time using the benefit of hindsight as the film skews and toys with your perception.

Overall its an emotionally engaging experience from beginning to end, the acting and the direction is spot on. Stellar performances from all four main characters, notably Martin McCann and Paul Kennedy who have both gone on to do great things career-wise (Clash of the Titans, Five Minutes of Heaven, etc.) after being on this film.

In conclusion I would recommend this film to anyone with an interest in good storytelling, subtle but effective cinematography and great acting.