A directorial debut by Eran Creevy, the film “Shorty” has a lot of potential with a well-written script, some great performances by the lead actors and sharp dialogues with powerful one-liners that create a definite impact on the viewer.
For a film that was shot in a mere 18 days and only with a budget of £100,000, Shifty has proved to be a remarkably well-made film that is worth watching. It is in no way similar to the regular action and melodrama films that you see day in and day out. Although the subject chosen by Creevy is not a new one and has all the elements of a regular action film, the film moves away from the generic dealing of the topic to a more subtle portrayal where drama is taken over by sensitivity and a more realistic approach.
(Riz Ahmed) an ambitious and over-zealous young man reunites with his old-time pal, Chris (Daniel Mays), after having parted ways four years ago. While Chris moved to Manchester and became a recruitment consultant, Shifty on the other hand, took the quick road to success and turned into a crack cocaine dealer, contradictory to his staunch Muslim upbringing. He lives with his orthodox brother Rez (Nitin Ganatra) who is oblivious to Shifty’s nefarious activities. What follows when the two friends reunite is powerful and also at times sentimental while the revelations of the past throw open a skeleton in the closet, as we slowly discover the reason for Chris’ quiet disappearance four years ago.
The whole story takes place in a span of 24 hours where the mates reconnect when Chris arrives to stay with Shifty and old time friendship is rekindled, which shows that their friendship is not contrived; instead it is genuine and loyal. Chris is a little disturbed and apprehensive of Shifty’s chosen profession, but all the same he accompanies his friend when the latter goes around making his drug deliveries. Being in a profession that has always had opposition as well as enemies, Shifty finds himself being tracked down by a ruthless drug dealer, Glen (Jason Flemyng) who wishes to eliminate his rival. Apart from this, Shifty is being shadowed by a wretched addict Trevor (Jay Simpson) to whom he supplies his daily dose of pot.
Facing pressures from family and enemies and at the same time dodging the law, Shifty is under constant scrutiny. Although Shifty has a negative character because of the destruction that his profession causes to people, we empathise with him and hope for his problems to be solved. Creevy has woven the script beautifully while the actors have lent their talent in the most productive and inspirational manner. Without the use of guns and bloodshed that would otherwise have been a part and parcel of a film with a similar storyline, Creevy narrates his story in a touching but realistic manner. Dealt with a touch of lightness, there is certain freshness in the way the film has been made making it different from the familiar movie setting we are commonly used to seeing.
Director: Eran Creevy
Cast: Riz Ahmed,Daniel Mays,Jason Flemyng,Nitin Ganatra,Jay Simpson,Dannielle Brent,Francesca Annis,Kate Groombridge,Jason Maza,Jordan Long,Rory Jennings,Coutney Day,Gracie Fitch,Nathaniel Gleed,Eddie Webber
Wins: Stockholm Film Festival,Geneva Cinéma Tout Ecran
Nominations: Stockholm Film Festival,BAFTA Awards,British Independent Film Awards