And Let God Do the Rest (2012) – By Joshua Samford

In a world that is devoid of "new ideas," it has become increasingly more difficult to surprise viewers. For the most part, we feel that we have seen it all. Yet, every now and then, a new movie comes along that mixes up our expectations and it provides some genuinely surprising twists and turns. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a movie is good or bad, but surprises are almost always welcome. In the case of And Let God Do the Rest, the surprises that come in its narrative certainly make it a better movie. When dealing with shorts, surprising the audience can be even more difficult. When working within this short-form genre, filmmakers often rely on genre expectations as a way of bypassing exposition. When audiences are so familiar with any one particular genre that they can piece together the backstory on their own, this saves screen time for these independent filmmakers. In the case of this short, that isn’t really the case. The movie doesn’t take the safe route, and it doesn’t present familiar situations at all times. Audiences won’t be sure of the inevitably direction of the movie until it is nearly over, and that is about as high a compliment that I can pay towards the film.

Leonard is a dashing young man who has done very well for himself. He is an attourney, has a beauitful wife, and a loving young son. After stopping off at a bakery to grab his son’s cake, Leonard is stopped by a stranger in the dark. This stranger holds a gun and eventually knocks Leonard uncouncious. When he awakens, Leonard finds himself strapped to a chair and facing possible execution. His attacker then asks Leonard numerous questions about his history and unveils some very dark and troubling secrets from his past.

That plot synopsis is going to tell any potential viewer far more about this movie than I knew before going into it. All that I knew about And Let God Do the Rest was that it was a 17 minute short and that is has a very interesting title, that is it. So, when I started the movie up, I was surprised to find that it was leading me in a rather mundane direction. As we watch Leonard go through his life and flirt with a strange woman at the local bakery, we don’t know precisely where this film is heading. Will it be a familial drama? I could not say for certain. However, when the abduction happens, the movie becomes something entirely different. Moving from a slick and polished urban setting in terms of its aesthetic values, the film then becomes something grim and nasty.

What stands out most about And Let God Do the Rest is probably the emotional journey that its characters take. While this is only a seventeen minute short, the intensity of the drama is tremendous. Focusing on some very interesting ideas about vengeance, punishment, retribution, and forgiveness, this short manages to pack some food for thought in the midst of a dark and disturbing little thriller. Is it perfect? No. There are some missteps along the way, as the heightened pitch of the drama does come about a little too quickly, but for the most part this is a very solid little effort. The movie is stylish, looks great, has some solid performances, and a very well-written script; it is safe to say that I recommend this short. If you would like to read more about the project, you can visit the official Facebook page here.