Neon (Short 2016)
Director: Mark J. Blackman
Writer: Mark J. Blackman
Stars: Joe Absolom, Kerry Bennett and Bill Hutchens
Synopsis (from IMDb): “An man who is forbidden by a higher power from pursuing a life of love and happiness attempts to end his life, to spare the woman he loves from her own life of heartbreak.”
A stylish whirlwind adventure set in London, Neon follows Mary (Kerry Bennett) who receives a phone call from a gravely voiced unknown man (Joe Absolom). They have met online but the man informs her that he must stay away and that they are forbidden to meet. His employers would not be happy if they were to connect.
With a buzzy electric score setting the tone for this gritty neon electric dream of a short. It is implied that Mary’s contact is a man caught up with the wrong crowd and has had Mary under surveillance for unknown reasons. He is condemned man, we are lead to believe, as two burly men are in hot pursuit looking for his whereabouts. Mary though, is not giving up that easily, she is eager to squeeze an explanation from Elias but gets nowhere with this mysterious man. Scatterings of flashbacks provide us with enough information to piece together the twos relationship (that’s all I’ll say on that.)
All is not as it seems and there is more to Elias than meets the eye, as the goon squad closes in on him, we get a peek into what is really going on. There is great acting on show here with fantastic filmography, very stylish with great popping colours, worthy to the moniker Neon. Mark and the crew have really produced a great short. Stylistically, Neon is in the vein of a condensed and more blistering paced version of Drive (2007) and more recently The Neon Demon (2016). Ryan Gosling as the driver has less dialogue than Joe Absolom’s Elias has in a full feature (joke).
If you’re looking for a quick short with plenty of both style and substance, Neon is the film for you. Plenty of twists and turns with a solid narrative, all in a bite sized 15 minutes.
Verdict: Solid Stylistic Thriller