- Directed by Matheus Ronn Leite -
Films portraying extreme violence are difficult to watch and truly like. Even when the 'baddies' get what they deserve: they either get caught by the Police or get killed. They draw on our need for justice in this world. These films also serve as reminders for us as to the danger that lies in people out there, people who can kill cold-bloodedly and without remorse, with sadism and sometimes pathological anger.
The scenario in 'Caposhi Pop' is one we are used to from Western cowboy movies all the way to Guy Ritchie's 'Snatch'. The cruelty and detachment exhibited in this short film is also akin to films like Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'.
This cinematic style however needs space and time for the characters to develop into believable human beings and for the plot to evolve organically through action rather than to be told the story through dialogue. The talking slows down the action and makes it difficult to watch. The viewer is sophisticated and educated enough to draw his own conclusions about who the hero is, his allies and his oponents as well as to make up the plot and be surprised by the turning point.
Because of the lack of time (the film is 14 minutd long) neither Freddie (Gregory Pekar), Price (Alex Hughes) or Susy (Nicole Reddinger) get to come across as fully shaped characters. They are only sketched and since the story turns out to be told through Howard's eyes (played by a convincing Mark Planas) one might think this was done so intentionally by writer and director Matheus Ronn.
The revenge comes in - as it always happens in such films - with a big element of surprise. The owner of the diner that the three-member gang of criminals take over kills all the three of them and takes his diner back.
The acting felt emphasized at times. Was this perhaps a deliberate choice to create a false reality in which these criminals live? It did not feel that way though. Also, we feel the head of the gang was too talkative and explanatory in front of a subordinate - thus destroying the hierarchy and taking away from his power.
Apart from this, the music was interesting but could have been more varied and with more suspense. We feel it risked becoming monotonous.
All in all 'Caposhi Pop' had more potential to be explored. The 'reverse technique' through which we go back in the past and observe different facets of the same event is a smart way of revealing more of the plot and the characters involved. It is a neat story telling method which this short film chose to employ.
© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest,
Images provided by Stephen Brace and Jason Hargrove,
have not been altered and are used in compliance with CC License.