The Fall and Rise of Mickey: A Headcase Prequel (2010) – By James Dubbeldam

The Fall and Rise of Mickey is an excellent 20 minute short film directed and edited by Ken Simpson. It’s professional, it’s stylish, it’s fun- it’s a hell of a ride!  It stars Isaac Visaretis who plays a boxer who’s hired as the muscle to what we (I) believe to be a loan shark. His boss(es) are mysterious, creepy and of course brutal men. And very intriguing.  The further he gets into his new life, the more he drinks to escape it. Before he has a chance to get away, he’s given a gun and told to come to an important meeting. Is Mickey ready for what’s next?

Very rarely do you see a short film with such a polished, clean, professional look. Each shot is well-thought out and effective. It has its own style/mood which is set up early on- that of a much larger stylish gangster flick. Every role is acted beautifully. The dialogue has impact, the looks tell you what’s going on at almost every moment. Even with its incredibly small budget ($1200.00 Canadian) the effects are effective and believable.  The camera moves like it would in a big budget TV show or film, smoothly and mostly in the right places. At times I felt like certain moves were a little over-used but that being said many filmmakers rarely take the camera off the sticks (tripod) in shorts.

There were many aspects of this film that I loved. First, being a Canadian, I was pleased to see the director take a risk and show Canadian bills in the film. It’s not very common, even in Canadian films!  The music is excellent, the editing, the audio mix, the transitions and so on. Very professional.  The story (quickly) covers a lot of ground, never drags it’s feet and through varied locations, actors and stylistic elements it does not feel like a 20 minute piece. You don’t want it to end.  Overall, it’s not worth mentioning the other small issues I encountered in this film. I feel like it would take away from the experience.

I highly recommend watching this short. It has style, it’s fun and entertaining. And it was all done on a shoe-string budget- so watch out for Ken Simpson and what he does next!