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The Independent Critic

Sasha the Dog, Rica Sweeney, Stephen Sheridan, Kyle Miley, Rene Costa
Rica Sweeney
15 Mins.

 Short Film "Bone" Set for World Premiere at High Peak Fest in June 

Headed for its world premiere at the High Peak Independent Film Festival in June, writer/director Rica Sweeney's delightfully creative and entertaining short film Bone is a rather tasty cinematic morsel wrapped around the story of a dog, Sasha, whose taste for the good life finds her making the transition from your ordinary neighborhood pooch to being a drug runner for a local gangster who goes by the name of The Baron (Stephen Sheridan). Quickly becoming even more successful than Clint Eastwood's old codger in The Mule, Sasha begins to reap the rewards of that success through the receipt of lots and lots of bones. However, when a drug deal goes awry the bones are removed as a punishment. 

Having acquired a mighty taste for quality bones, Sasha doesn't take kindly to this disappointment and resolves to reclaim the bones no matter the cost. 

Sweeney seems to understand perfectly the tone that needs to happen here in order to make Bone work - it's really a weaving together of a lightly cartoonish quality with just a hint of menace and a subtle but undeniable demented glee. Somehow, all of that's here in the framework of Bone and it all gels together quite beautifully. 

That success rests not only on Sweeney's wonderfully scripted dialogue and naturalistic direction, but also in her simply awesome vocal work as the increasingly insatiable Sasha, whose antics are sort of a hilariously twisted breeding of Lassie meets Cujo lite. No, there's nothing inside Bone that goes nearly as dark and graphic as Cujo, but there's something wonderfully sweet and scary about Sasha, whose increasingly ambitious behavior is fun to watch unfold. 

Stephen Sheridan has an evil gleam in his eyes as The Baron, a sort of Fagin-like character opposite Sasha's most Oliver Twisted. Ah yes, it's a weird comparison, I suppose, but I'm going with it nonetheless. George O'Reilly's lensing is sublime throughout, while Alex Dopierala's original music gives the film a nice energy and zest. 

The film is presented in chapters, nicely presented graphically though a touch distracting, but kudos must be given to the entire production team for maintaining the film's appropriate tone and rhythm throughout its 15-minute running time. Bone is definitely an entertaining, winning film and it'll be a blast to watch its success on the indie fest circuit.

For more information on Bone, visit the film's website linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic