Shortfilm Review: THE RECOVERY (2016)

Director A.J. Singh's latest shortfilm contribution, The Recovery, is my own debut into his work. Intially I first learned of his efforts toward another project in development seperate from this one and it currently remains shelved, although he clearly has an eye for action even when venturing into other genres, which is a bit more welcoming for me, personally.

As for the critiquing, here goes! Singh directs from his own script which centes on actor Jon Bailie in the role of Alfie, a dilapidated alcoholic gambler whose relationship and life have each entered a downward spiral. He's indebted to a bookie while his girlfriend has fallen into the arms of another man, and following an online date gone awry, he gets an unfriendly visit from a gang of criminals that put him in a bind, forcing him to take them out the only way he knows.

Singh wrote the script and it provides for quite a few clever moments with enough development for a few of the characters to suggest why you should care. That said, much is lacking in the acting department throughout with most of the dialogue being phoned-in; point in fact, a scene in which Bailie's character shares a chat with his cat felt much more convincing.

The film banks more on its darkly comedic elements, but does present a few moments where a fists or two are thrown, although the key action scene takes place in the third act where Bailie picks up a sword and goes to town on a room full of baddies. It's a pretty fun portion but very short-lived and you never really learn what the purpose or the origin is for his sword skills, although it gets a brief nod in the first act.

The Recovery ends on a high note after all said and done. What it misses in drama and overall substance, it makes up for in a bit of poignance with a subplot pertaining to a missing girl, played by young actress Lea Riviere. This, coupled with a selection of tracks from Ace Records and Selrec International, Ltd. offers just a little something for The Recovery that makes it feel less like a hangover or something you might enjoy more with pint or ten.

All in all, this wasn't a perfect piece, but I do recommend sampling it if it comes your way following its current festival run. Cheers!


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