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Midlands Review - Carriages

By midlandsmovies, Mar 6 2019 10:25AM

Carriages (2018)

Directed by Adam Palmer

Carriages is a new 10-minute drama short from regional writer and director Adam Palmer covering awkward encounters on the train tracks around the region.

Jonathon David Dudley stars as the unlucky in love lead who sees a stranger on a platform (Alishia Southall) but through embarrassment and shyness doesn’t say anything despite the obvious attraction.

On his daily commute he seems to be struck by this girl of his dreams but his quiet demeanour and timid countenance is not making it easy for him to strike up a conversation.

Joining Jonathan is Midlands Movies Award nominee Michael Cotton who comedically plays an office colleague joking that she has probably got an “awful personality” which is less than helpful to the lovestruck young man. A brilliant support turn, Cotton delivers as a suitably dismissive friend as he tries to take his mate’s mind off “train girl”

Close ups of the worrisome face of our lead bring the audience into his humble world but from a stranger on a train (Lawrence Walker) to a ringing phone, he is constantly derailed from starting an introductory chat.

Excellently shot on real locomotives and platforms, the well-thought out locations add classy production value to the film. And an 8-mm film-style cutaway gag on what our lead could have done differently was both a verbal and visual delight as he is accosted by the love-rival stranger for being in his seat.

As we are shunted from one scene to the next, the rickety jolts of the carriages themselves seem to represent the unstable state of each encounter. The editing back and forth between the unspoken train sequences to the office-based re-caps are well constructed and help lead the audience down the right tracks.

As we come to the film’s conclusion, we get a steadier situation on the platform which calms our lead before he finally gains the confidence to stand up for what he wants.

With its heart in the right place, Carriages takes a wry, and slightly old-fashioned, look at embarrassment on the ‘express’ but its innocence is one of its many plus points. A great cast steams ahead with dedicated but delicate performances to create a wonderful soft tone which will help audiences get on board with this terrific tale on a train.

Michael Sales

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