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82 (Review)

Technically, 82 is flawless, and Nick Moran perfectly nails his character, while giving new meaning to the term "going postal."

by Nav Qateel

Penned by Alexei Slater and directed by Calum MacDiarmid, 82 is clearly a labor of love that has an interesting story behind its making. Former employee of The Beatles' George Harrison's HandMade Films, Alexei Slater told INFLUX Magazine, "82 came about as I had written a short monologue about a postman, and although I had worked in the film industry for a while, it hadn't dawned on me to make it as a film until a friend had read it and suggested I should."

Produced by Slater and Jessica Turner, they next turned to the talents of Calum Macdiarmid to helm 82, and the rest, as they say, is history.

We follow postman Mick on his rounds delivering mail in a typical nondescript British street, and we're privy to his every thought. It quickly becomes apparent that Mick has a dark side; a very dark side, and he's not the sort of person one would like to come across late at night in a dark alley.

82
Directed by Calum MacDiarmid
Written by Alexei Slater
Cast Nick Moran, Valerie Pfeiffer, Nick Read
Release Date October 2014
Nav's Grade: A

"Felton Street" Mick explains, "my favorite." Why Mick favors this Neighbourhood Watch protected street in particular, is revealed by the clever use of blink-or-you'll-miss-it flashbacks and our postman's monologue. Mick also has a specific destination in mind; number 82. He then walks the length of the street delivering the mail, all the while trying to guess what each letter and package contains. He tears up a holiday postcard and tosses it away, and when a package is a bit too large to fit in the letterbox, Mick proceeds to flatten it down to size by stomping on it with his boots. When most folk get bored with their job they look for a new one. Mick isn't most folk, however, and his dark side has obviously given him something to look forward to each day.

Technically, 82 is flawless, and Nick Moran perfectly nails his character, while giving new meaning to the term "going postal." I loved Slater's script as he took us inside the warped mind of this person of questionable character who just so happens to be a postman. Did this monotonous and mundane job turn him into the person we now see, or has Mick always been this way? Director Calum MacDiarmid worked his magic and kept up a sort of underlying menace while also being playful. The audience is always aware that there's a sense of danger about Mick, although it's still a surprise when it comes. The song playing at the end credits, which I won't name, brought a wicked smile to my face.

Like with all short films of this nature, it's all about the twist or reveal at the end, and on that score, 82 delivers in spades. It actually reminds me of a film we reviewed earlier in the year titled Done In by Adam Stephen Kelly, another fantastic short film from the UK. So far 82 has won 15 awards and screened in over 50 film festivals, including Raindance, Dresden, Warsaw, Florida and the London Short Film Festival. It's due for release in October 2015, and if you like short films with an uncomfortable twist, 82 should not be missed.

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