Broken Record (2014) – By Josh Samford

Here at Rogue Cinema, it isn’t often that we see a great number of short films coming out of Scotland. So, I was pretty intrigued when Broken Record arrived in my inbox for review. As a fairly dumb American, my knowledge of the UK is pretty limited. However, like most, I appreciate taking a glimpse at the atmosphere across the pond. Broken Record is a short film that is definitely a product of its culture, and for those of us on the outside looking in, it becomes a rather charming event because of this. Outside of just the cultural intrigue, the short itself is a well-played and thoroughly entertaining piece of comedy.

The basic plot for the film focuses on Frasier & Tam, two gents who feel that their ship has finally came when they stumble upon a trunk full of old records while clearing out a house. Once they find the trunk, one of their coworkers stumbles in on the find and immediately Frasier & Tam are devising a way to keep the money all to themselves. Are these records really the gold that they believe them to be, or are these two counting their chickens before they’ve hatched?

Broken Record has its moments of broad humor, but as one might expect for a UK comedy, its funnier moments are based in the wit of the writing and the conviction of the performers. While at first it may seem kinda odd that our two protagonists would even think about killing someone over a trunk full of records, especially when they don’t even know what the records are or how much they’re worth, but as the movie plays out we see that this sort of general stupidity is very much a part of these characters. The idea that anyone would contemplate bumping someone off over a trunk full of records, well, it isn’t outside the range of possibility, Lord knows people have died over dumber things, but the conversation where this is brought up simply turns out to be a rather bizarre moment in a rather fun little movie.

The performances within the movie turn out to be one of its greatest selling points, because the cast assembled are able to bring these characters to life with apparent ease. The actors, particularly John Gaffney and Steven Patrick, get the beats of the comedy and they know what they’re trying to achieve. There’s a sort of sadness to the stupidity of these characters, but the actors infuse their dimwitted follies with a lot of energy and the short reflects this overall. Solid writing, a humorous plot, colorful characters, solid performances, and a very interesting look at the culture all make Broken Record something worth checking out. If you’re interested, give a like to their Facebook page and keep up to date with this project!