Midlands Review - My Father
By midlandsmovies, Aug 10 2019 03:58PM
Directed by Lewis Clements
Written and directed by Birmingham director Lewis Clements, My Father is a new short film about fathers and family but doesn’t forget to have a whole lot of fun along the way.
Veering away from the very different dramatic tone of his previous film Eviction (review here) My Father takes a less-than-serious look at a father finding out about his past during a very eclectic adventure.
The short opens when a man is alerted by the beeping noises of a handheld game console and enters his son’s room where he finds the young boy awake in his bed. As his dad asks him to turn it off ready for school the next day, the boy asks if he can hear a story before going to sleep.
Parodying somewhat The Princess Bride (which is framed around an adult recounting a tale to a child) the film throws in some funny moments from the start which get more surreal as we go along.
From a mention of “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” to what looks like a blatant ginger wig (sorry, if it isn’t) the film jumps between different comedy styles to tell its amusing anecdote.
Our protagonist is Tarik who tells his son how he used to work as a cleaner at a kitchen and bathroom store. He sadly gets fired from his job and returns to his own father who consoles him but admits he isn’t his real dad – which, given the context, is somewhat of an understatement.
This flashback also slyly references Family Fortunes, Lionel Richie and shows a rather gratuitous shot of a cock. And I’m not talking male chicken here!
And so Tarik discovers he was picked up at a Tamworth theme park. And his “father” tells him about “The Barrington” – a mysterious character who may hold the key to who his biological father is, as he apparently has the Drayton Manor entrance list from 2003.
This nice nod to a local landmark is combined with some very surreal comedy as we next see a senior citizen in a leather clad outfit along with a gimp “pet” who then challenges Tarik to a contest involving a Pot Noodle!
Whether or not you go along with the short’s comedic style, Varakunan Panchalingam is without doubt absolutely fantastic as Tarik. And the film uses innuendo, sight gags and Tarik's delivery of silly lines of dialogue to give us a variety of funny situations and ridiculous scenarios.
The support cast go from solid to over-the-top and that’s probably intentional – but to be fair we’re not here for any Oscar winning performances. My Father knows what it wants to be and has some genuine laugh out loud moments.
As his search grinds to a bit of a halt, Tarik heads to a church as his farcical journey comes to a conclusion. But does the film, and Tarik’s story, give us a happy-ever-after ending? Well kind of, but it definitely teases the potential of a sequel.
In the end though, My Father provides plenty of hilarity and humour and whilst the cinematography and technical side could do with some tweaking, the real joy lies in lots of laughs provided throughout.