Roped In from screenwriter Dylan Cullum – based on Rope by Ane Skarvǿy – is a short film from United Wolves Productions under the direction of Michael Wolf with cinematographic support from Nadia Parpova, who also edits, and sound from Tennur Daud.
Filmed in a single location, Ben (Dan Kralev) appears to be in control of the situation with Selma (Zori Dragiyska) but is all as it really seems? Psychologically gripping, it’s dark on the drama and heavy on the intrigue with a healthy dose of black humour coursing through it to keep you guessing at what may be unravelling in front of your eyes.
Kralev captures the hope and hopelessness of Ben perfectly whilst Dragiyska is captivating as the alluring femme fatale, and with both providing strong, believable performances and the action subtly unfolding through each scene, there’s no escape from their unfolding power play.
With the snapshot opening sequence very much hinting towards what is to come, the subsequent light and shadow work cleverly maintains the interest with the sound effects serving to further hone the suspense. The supporting soundtrack, arranged by Wolf, (Avalanche by Seb Jaeger; Blizzard by Mike Eastwood; Storm by Ben Haydn) provides the perfect accompaniment whilst allowing the action to remain to the fore.
This is United Wolves Productions’ first international release and whilst it could be set in Stockholm, the language is definitely Bulgarian which only serves to add to the mystery; with English subtitles serving to communicate anything you can’t fathom from the chemistry on screen, your imagination will stay running long after the credits have rolled.
Unsurprisingly the piece has been successful with awards and selections including:
– Official Selections for Eastern European Film Festival, Heart International Film Festival, and Boden International Film Festival
– Honourable mention from Art Film Awards
– Finalist at IO NON TI CONOSCO Film Festival
– Best Actress Special Award from Cinematic European Film Festival
– Best Comedy, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing from Falcon International Film Festival
– Best Director from Silk Road Film Awards – Cannes
They often say, start as you mean to go on, and on the basis of this production I’m looking forward to seeing what United Wolves Productions do next.
United Wolves Productions is a North West England based production company which provides a variety of services, further details https://www.unitedwolvesproductions.com/
Roped In is scheduled for public release from 1st September 2022.
Reviewer: Mark Davoren
Reviewed: 2nd August 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★