The Grand Palaver
Directed by Michael Cristian Greene
Starring – Jacob Lentfer-Maguire, Jasper Lloyd, Zana Rockwell, Taryn Wallace, David Waters
Review by Jordan
Part Dante, part Abrams and a little bit R. L. Stine, The Grand Pavaler draws on the styling and adolescent intrigue of mystery suburbia to create a short film event that feels like the start of something far greater.
Following a trio of imaginative, backwards cap and striped shirt-wearing kids as they delve into their research and study the strange man living next door, Michael Cristian Greene’s film is a polished excerpt of a mysterious story (or, a mysterious excerpt of a polished story… the two seem interchangeable). The strange man appears to be building a grand contraption for a nefarious unknown reason, and with curiosity set to kill the rabbit, and a breakthrough in the case ratcheting up the level of suspense, they mightn’t be able to resist the lure of a secretive shed and it’s unidentified contents.
Greene directs The Grand Pavaler with a deep understanding of both his thematic references and the simple excitement of the genre, but it would all be for naught if the starring performances aren’t naturalistic or charming. Thankfully, they are. Each young actor exhibits almost nostalgic traits; treating the mostly dialogue (and mini-monologue) based material in a manner reminiscent of the ‘80’s heyday, when kids movies seemed to target audience enjoyment over the bottom-line.
The editing and sound design are also of a high quality, ensuring total immersion for its short running time. It’s often said that the most important element of a short film is crafting a memorable ending, but here it’s the overall mood and tone that leave the lasting impression.
Obviously made from a director and team with a strong fondness of cinema, and subsequently delightful to watch, this is a lovingly made short that will undoubtedly lead to great opportunities for all involved, that I’ll anticipate with excitement.
4 grand conspiracies out of 5
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