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The Independent Critic

Dean Temple, Travis Mitchell, Suzanne Bryan, Kieran Battle, Michael Anthony Coppola
Mark Battle
21 Mins.


 "The Convict" a Tense, Effective Thriller 

In writer/director Mark Battle's 21-minute short film The Convict, Dean Temple portrays David Eller, a convict desperate freedom whose shot at it is stripped away and, as a result, he forcefully risks everything. Temple is a winner as Eller, a man who never quite reveals his cards until its time for them to be shown. Simultaneously sympathetic yet somewhat menacing, Temple's Eller is an intriguing character whose motivations slowly reveal themselves over the course of the film.

Battle is very nearly a one-man crew here. In addition to writing and directing, Battle handles the film's lensing, editing, production design, art design, set decoration and serves as executive producer for the film. The film's lensing is both mesmerizingly beautiful yet haunting, while the film's overall design is pitch perfect.

In addition to Temple's top notch performance, Travis Mitchell is strong as a driver whom Eller encounters. Winner of Best Short Drama at Somewhat North of Boston in 2014, The Convict is the kind of film that effectively plays out its story while making the viewer feel the full gamut of emotions. The story itself, especially as it starts to wind down, feels inevitable yet Battle's tight direction and Temple's compelling performance keeps us watching untl the very last seconds unfold. If you get a chance, definitely check it out.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic