Film Review: Gridlock
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In his second short film, director Ian Hunt Duffy brings us Irish thriller Gridlock. Whilst an intense and surprising story, the film does suffer from feeling the need to over-explain itself at times.
Set in Kildare, Ireland, the film follows father Eoin (Moe Dunford) as he and his daughter Emma (Robyn Dempsey) become caught in a traffic jam following an accident on a small country road. Eager to get on his way, Eoin investigates what has happened, but on his return, finds that Emma has disappeared. After frantically putting together a search party made up of others held on the road, Eoin begins to realise that everyone is a potential suspect. For its twenty-minute duration, the film does a great job of keeping up the intensity. From opening to closing there is a sense of discomfort and panic, which is captured excellently by Duffy’s direction. Every shot is relevant from start to finish and this is pivotal when making a film of this length, as everything has to count. Thankfully in the case of Gridlock, it does. The film also tells an intriguing social narrative based on people being suspicious of each other in testing situations. It's very clear that immediately after Emma’s disappearance, everyone begins to suspect one another, feeling that someone has to be responsible. This leads to finger pointing and intense arguments that only escalate as the film goes on. For this, credit goes to writer Darach McGarrigle he puts the audience in the same place as those involved in the search, in a sense that they hastily draw to conclusions and are quick to point the finger. The look at this social narrative is made even more interesting when considering the film’s ending.
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Gridlock will be screening at the Japan Short Shorts Film Festival on June 7th.
Gridlock- Trailer from Fail Safe Films on Vimeo.