Princeton Holt and his 1 Way or Another Production company are names that are familiar to me from having reviewed a very solid film for them in the past, Cookies and Cream. A solid title that was high on character development and was very methodically paced, the movie has remained in my memory long after having last seen it. So, knowing the type of work that Holt is capable of, I was eager to see what direction he would take with his latest short, Delivery. As one might expect after watching Cookies & Cream, Holt takes a purely dramatic approach with this short film. Focusing on the interactions between a small group of characters who have allowed drugs to push them apart, this twenty minute feature is as intense as it is touching.
The short doesn’t really require a great deal of set-up in detailing the plot. Essentially, it revolves around three characters who are each wrapped up in the world of drug addiction. We focus primarily on a young couple who are having a crisis within their relationship due to drug use finally absorbing their lives. The young woman in this relationship fears that her significant other may be cheating on her since he has forgot, for the first time ever in their relationship, to pay the bills, and the young man is hurt by the fact that she would dare think he would do such a thing. As it turns out, he was only getting stoned with a friend and lost track of the time. The duo consult a close friend who must convince the two that they have a great deal more going on in their lives than just the drug use that they are allowing take over.
The movie establishes itself as a real character study straight from the introduction. After only a few minutes worth of screen time, it becomes obvious that this is a film that wants to reveal its story and not rely on anything else. Featuring stark black and white cinematography, the story here is told through emotions and dialogue with visual flash taking a backseat. The dialogue seems to either be improvised a great deal during the story, or it is written with a very realistic edge. There are a ton of expletives thrown around, especially during the introductory scene, but the language rarely seems stage-y or forced. The performances of our main cast are all uniformly strong, with each actor putting in very difficult performances. In regards to he third-party within the story, the best friend who has no stake in the relationship, I found myself particularly drawn to this character/actor. His strong, stoic, and tender performance seems at odds with the chaos that regularly surrounds him throughout the majority of the film, but he makes this unearthly character seem real, which I find to be a real testament to this actor’s skill.
The movie never becomes an after-school special in terms of its views on drug addiction, but it doesn’t shy away from the legitimate reality that drugs ruin lives. Ultimately, the story is an uplifting one, and it says a lot for those who have had to deal with drug abuse in their lives. Having witnessed firsthand such horrible things within my own family, Delivery managed to speak to me on a personal level. While I won’t promise that it is a perfect film, or that the acting doesn’t occasional delve into undue melodrama, this is a very promising short film and it shows Holt’s continuing growth as a filmmaker. Definitely check it out if you’re given the opportunity. You can find more information at the official One Way or Another Productions website: http://1wayoranother.net/index.html