Things go slightly different than planned when a burglar attempts to steal from a country mansion but encounters the owner’s sobbing ex-wife in the bedroom. Written and directed by Grace Alwyn Ashworth, with Melanie Ash and Corin Silva.
Imagine the scenario, you’re alone in your bedroom and in stumbles a man in a balaclava, what you probably think happens next is madness and mayhem, a simple robbery turning into the death of an innocent, but that’s certainly not what happens here. Instead of a violent end, we get an awkward conversation, it’s brilliantly British and polite, a tête-à-tête between burglar and victim about her love life, Sleepless in Seattle and how he happened to break into her house, really what else is one to do but hear out the advice of a man who has broken into your home?
The humour is solid and consistent, it almost comes across as subtle but the writing itself is direct and the better for it. The laughs come from well-written lines that aren’t thrown in your face or trying too hard, they’re casually presented in a genuine conversation as if between friends, Ashworth clearly knew that there’s no need to push harder when the comedy is already elevated by the fact it’s taking place in the middle of a burglary. It’s great to see that the temptation others might have fallen into, to make the humour garish was easily avoided here, the simple nature of the set-up and casual back and forth are what makes it feel candid and genuine.
Everything takes place in one set, Melanie Ash in the bed and Corin Silva standing beside it, a perfect choice; it immediately gives off a sense of a large, wealthy house, especially how small Ash looks in the large bed with an abundance of pillows. Despite the criminal circumstances, there’s an ease to the conversation between the two, which is due to the fact that they both give great performances; Silva’s brash but almost kind demeanour and Ash’s vulnerable, emotional state yet surprisingly stoic in the face of her robber.
A Dunder Plunder is a down to earth comedy and a surprising turn of events which is refreshingly entertaining. It’s quintessentially British in its polite, casual conversation and the awkwardness is quickly soothed with the natural chemistry between the two actors, getting dating advice from your burglar is certainly a specialised service.
Verdict: 8/10 | ✯✯✯✯
October 2019 – The INDIs Film Festival 2019 – Leeds, UK
October 2019 – Bolton Film Festival 2019 – Bolton, UK
October 2019 – Oaxaca Film Festival 2019 – Oaxaca, Mexico
Nominations and Awards:
- August 2019 – Indieflicks Film Festival 2019 – People’s Choice Award – WON
- August 2019 – Rolling Ideas Film Festival 2019 – Finalist Nomination
- August 2019 – Short to the Point International Film Festival 2019- Best Comedy Award Nomination