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A young British student (Ed Speleers) trying to make his way back to his University gets more than he bargained for in Ride. When the young man heads out to make his way back to uni. we meet an older man (Anthony Lapaglia) willing to help the young stranger out. When the boy first sets out on what was meant to be a quick jaunt to school, he couldn’t possibly imagine what would happen next, or that the life he had back home would never be the same again.
Throughout the short film we see the young man’s internal struggle with battling against his morals and being safe. He finds it hard to do what’s right, or to do what other think makes more sense. The older man’s menacing control pulls the young man towards the dark end of the moral compass. This moment of being led astray, paired with his shear panic at what he has been thrown into, creates an intense atmosphere sure to keep the viewer intrigued.
The entirety of the short film had a very dreary foggy feel to it. The characters show little emotion from the beginning, and the young man appears to not want to converse all too much because of his unease towards the stranger. When certain events unfold we see a sprout of intense anger and confusion by the boy, but see a calm, uncaring, even cold show of emotion from the driver. Race comes to play in the middle of the film when the older man shows carelessness on the road, and shows indifference to the condition of individuals of other races. All of these factors come together to make the film a dark snapshot of what should have simple been, as the title shows, a ride.
I was curious from the first instance of action in the short film, yet still left short of amazed. The beginning was a bit slow and hard to really keep much interest in the mundane event of hitchhiking. Including the long barren roads that they appeared to be traveling on. The ending, however, makes up for some of these shortcomings. The strange events throughout, and the ominous feel of the film from the middle on, leaves the viewer craving to know how everything will turn out.
When we finally arrive at the University we meet a young woman (Emer Kenny). She appears to be the young man’s girlfriend and enthusiastically greets him after spotting him outside the gates. While he appears to remain lost at confused, but begins to try and confess to her the events of the day. She is, of course, oblivious to what has occurred and is happy and energetic to see him. She fails to notice the young mans grave demeanor. Now, this is where we get our little twist, so I won’t reveal any more, other than to say you’ll never expect what happens next. Unfortunately, this was probably one of the only two exciting, or really interesting, pieces of the short film.
In the end I think the film was interesting with nice film angles, but lacking a moving opening, and proper structuring to keep the momentum of the film. If you think that you can look past these downfalls, you may be pleasantly surprised at the intriguing twist at the end.