My Last Day (2010) – By James Dubbeldam

My Last Day, written and directed by Marc Van Osdale, is a great 16 minute short film.
The film is about a quiet young man, Tom (Gabe Fremuth) who works at a liquor store and is pushed around by his manager, Jason (Brian O’Hara).

Tom begins a conversation with two good-looking young girls one afternoon and it appears to be going well until his manager interrupts and sends Tom outside to unload his car. Tom isn’t happy about this, but doesn’t do or say anything about it.

Later in the day he asks his manager why he has to do everything and why he even needs a manager there if he’s not doing anything. His manager agrees with him and leaves Tom to close the store himself.

When Tom gets home he routinely begins unfolding his laundry and finds a kitchen knife in the hamper. He examines it and puts it away. But not out of sight.

That night he dreams of stabbing his manager, standing up for himself and therefore facing his “push-over” nature. The next morning- seeing the knife, he puts it in his bag and heads for work.

Jason, his manager, begins putting Tom down as soon as he arrives, giving him shit for forgetting something from the night before. Tom stands up for himself, and right when you think something is going to happen it suddenly cuts to Tom leaving the store, expressionless.

He runs into one of the girls from the other day and builds up courage to ask for her number. And he gets it. But what has he just done?

Overall, My Last Day is a very professional short film. The acting is great, the pacing is good- it consistently keeps you in the story.

Good actors don’t always need to be speaking. The viewer picks up so much from looks and from body language. Gabe Fremuth (Tom) has that going for him. He’s good, and he doesn’t have to say that much to believe him in the character. Van Osdale directs him well, there’s a very smooth consistency in his character and between scenes.

The film itself is very polished looking. There are some odd choices for some shots (interesting angles) which you see a lot in “student” films, but there’s only a few, and they aren’t too harsh. But they do stand out.

The music was good, but a little overbearing in places. But it did built tension and worked well with the story. The audio was great- and that’s a sign of a professional film.

I couldn’t find any continuity issues in the film. Another sign of a lot of love and care put into this short.

The script itself is interesting. I would say that is the possible fault with the film. The dialogue is good, but there’s just not that much to the story and not enough development of the characters for it to be “amazing”.

Overall, Marc Van Osdale has a very solid short film here. It’s not the best I’ve seen but it’s well done, entertaining and professional. He knows what he is doing for sure and has a great deal of talent. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with in the future. I believe he will have a promising career.