Tuesday, July 5

Needs Must – Alex Carr

What would you do for your children? What would you give up or sacrifice even? These questions are at the heart of this short film, written and directed by Alex Carr, with original music from Florence King and original song performed by Michael Weston King, which explores the desperation of humanity and the lengths people will go to for those they love.

Mick (Shaun Fagan) and Liam (Anthony Roberts) wait frustratingly for the arrival of another man, Darren (Josh Ennis), who they don’t appear to know. There is an air of danger and these three have been brought together for a purpose, but what is it?

Whilst Fagan goes off to see to the ‘business’, Roberts and Ennis are left minding the car. What do you do but talk; their backgrounds whilst different share some similarities in terms of the motivations which have taken them to this point in their lives. What they do next, well that’s another question altogether.

This is an interesting piece that raises more questions than it necessarily answers, but then life is like that, isn’t it? It certainly feels like it needs to be expanded upon, whether as a fuller piece or a sequel. Whilst contemporary, the piece is not set in any specific time or place, allowing it to serve as a testament to the many examples of love and determination strewn throughout history.

The filming locations captured the grittiness of dereliction which paralleled the human lives in front of us although the tuneful bird song cutting through hinted at a glimmer of hope. There was certainly an attentiveness to detail in the way the framing captured important scenes in the vista of the city of Liverpool which I particularly appreciated.

Fagan brought a believable tough guy to the piece whilst Roberts was a suitably roughed up bit of muscle that you’d cross the road to avoid. Ennis caught the complexities of his character perfectly with a performance that gave insight into the humanity at the heart of his character that words alone couldn’t do justice. For that reason alone, I’d like to see more of where this piece came from and where it could go: it’s a sensitive subject so great to see a brave and bold writer and filmmaker exploring it.

Needs Must is being presented at a number of festivals before its online launch in June 2021.

Reviewer: Mark Davoren

Reviewed: 4th May 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★