Director: Stefan Fairlamb
Starring: Ashley Tabatabai, Scott Michael Wagstaff
Review Author: Tony & Adam
Welcome to another spotlight! If you don’t know what spotlight is, it’s our somewhat regular, demand dependant highlight piece for small-scale indy films. In a ReelTime first, we have a return customer! You may remember the name Ashley Tabatabai from a previous spotlight, Falsified. Ashley Tabatabai is back with a quirky short that we were lucky enough to get a preview of.
Struggling to make ends meet, Robert Stevens eagerly shows up for an interview that he hopes will turn his luck around. As a one job guy, he was shocked by his recent redundancy. Robert doesn’t like to rock the boat and soon finds himself out of his depth when talking to a savvy entrepreneur.
Everyone working, or who has ever worked in the content industry has met someone like this man. A sleazy self-titled CEO who’s all about maximizing growth and achieving the full wank potential of the family team for synergy; and they do it all in long sentences that don’t actually say anything despite their length or confidence. Ashley absolutely nails this persona. Before Scott even sat down I had my old boss squarely in mind. Excellently done.
The whole thing is essentially a long two-shot. Spielberg perfected this technique and this short is absolutely a keen student of it. Shot wide, with a very nice sound balance the whole thing just ‘looks’ inviting. The setting is quite quirky, giving us plenty to look at in the clean framing across the diner table.
Ashley achieves perhaps the hardest feat of all, the short is actually funny and delivers on the comedy even if it is rather dark. It’s sharp comedy clearly aimed at the expense of the character Robert with Scott Michael Wagstaff perfectly portraying a nervous but desperate man. Hats off to both performances as each bounce of each other effortlessly and really sell the toxic dynamic unfolding. High-end production is something we can now expect from Ashley Tabatabai which we also praised with his previous short, Falsified.
It’s an impressive short that utilizes it’s runtime perfectly and builds a funny but bleak narrative that is relatable in today’s society. It shows that Ashley already has a decent range in his work going from drama to dark comedy. We look forward to Ashley Tabatabai’s future projects.
You can follow The Interview’s Twitter page @AshleyTabatabai .