Local Film Alexander the Brain is Daring and Dynamic
Oddity Productions' 1800s era short is a mix of beauty and blood
Alexander Conroy is a bare-knuckle boxer born into the violence of the Civil War. Now, 19 years after the war, he finds himself in the same power-hungry fight his ancestors fell to, attempting to assert his dominance as a force beyond that of pure physicality. Alexander the Brain, Oddity Productions' debut short film, follows the boxer, played by Jacob Ames, as he becomes a mentor to a younger fighter.
The film, written by Danny Pakulski, shows promise for stories to come from the young creatives of Oddity, but what makes this film a stand-out is its cinematography and production value, credited to Simon Yahn and Liam O'Brien. The dynamic fight scenes not only add action to the screen but include an introspective aspect untold through the script. Quick cuts, strong sound effects and striking visuals heighten the storyline that at points becomes drawn out with monologues.
It is worth noting that for being a short film, it does not feel rushed, as lines like "tell me about your father" evoke emotion and background that act as catalysts for the rest of the film.
The height of tension peaks as Alexander meets with Mr. Barley, an established war friend of Alexander's less-than-fondly-recalled father, who gives Alexander an ultimatum.
Alexander remains unfazed, shown through witty comebacks against Mr. Barley, who seems to represent the disparities of the class system to a larger degree.
The film explores themes of patriotism, violence, masculinity and mental health as Alexander's greatest opponent seems to be himself. The audience comes just as close to seeking clarity in the final blow of the fight, only to find the moment clouded by the dust dissipating in the ring, hungry for more.
This Peaky-Blinders-esque historical piece speaks to the great creative freedom that can be expected in the future from Oddity Productions.
Written and Directed by: Danny Pakulski // Starring: Jacob Ames, Connor McNelis, David Durst // Oddity Productions
Chloe Forbes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org