I liked this film because it was well constructed and, sadly, rather poignant to today's law enforcement landscape.
Hello Everyone Kevin of Film Fervor here bringing you another Independent film review. Today we are looking at the 2016 short film The Report, Directed by Mragendra Singh and written by Brendon Slee. Starring Summera Howell, Nigel Tierney and Ricky Wood.
The Report centers around a policewoman’s report of her partner’s dirty shooting and the consequences of attempting to be a good cop in a very corrupt department. Her captain and the Detective Sargent attempt to coercer her to forget what she saw in the name of sparing a good cop and family man and when that fails resort to threats and intimidation. The film’s resolution comes only at the very end with the credits themselves being used as the mechanism of The Report’s fate itself.
The Report has a very short run time of five minutes and thirty four seconds but manages to pack in so much tension and drama that you feel breathless by the time you are done watching it. This is accomplished by the stellar performances of the actors. Summera Howell’s character comes across as a bright young policewoman who truly believes in the Law and justice for all. Despite never leaving her chair during the course of the film she manages to portray a sense of bravery you’d expect from a police officer and you can truly feel her plight as she is harassed by her Captain and the Detective Sargent. Nigel Tierney and Ricky Wood’s characters both leave you with a slimy feeling as the speak and manage to put such a sense of dread and intimidation in to their characters you feel just as small and helpless as the young Officer who the ire is being directed to.
One of the key standouts of The Report is the musical score. In just five minutes the tension builds and builds until it is almost palpable and finely relents as the end credits roll. The ending credit music is sad and just enough heart wrenching as you watch what is happening to the report that it makes you think on corruption and the struggles a good person has to face in a dirty world. The audio work on the actors themselves is handled wonderfully by the production company and you never have a drop in sound quality as you do in many short films on a low budget.
The scenes are shot at a low angle looking up when the two antagonists are speaking giving you a sense of how imposing they are to the young policewoman. This technique is purposely used to help the audience into the shoes of the hero and substitutes the grandiose action scenes you get in longer films to show the power of the antagonists. Summera Howell’s scenes are all shot on a level field at a side view making it seem you are there with her being berated and intimidated along with her, truly good story telling and use of cinematography. The camera work is clear and crisp and doesn’t have any of the dark outs you normally get in low lit rooms and all of the scene is clearly visible and easy to make out.
The Report is not an action packed movie but it doesn’t have to be. It manages to tell a complete and compelling story using just three actors and one set (Well two but the first outside shot only lasts seconds) better than some Hollywood block busters I could think of. If you have five minutes to spare I recommend this film to you watch at least once.
Justin’s Notes: I really liked this film because it was well constructed but also it is rather poignant to today’s law enforcement landscape. With all of the drama happening in the USA at the moment, due to police brutality and violence against the police, films like this really make you wonder how much is true and how much is just good storytelling.