Review: Part 5B

Written and directed by Ward Crockett; Josh (Josh Bywater) gets into a battle of words with Gill (Stephen Lydic), his insufferable soon-to-be brother-in-law, when they lose a crucial component of the machine they’re building in the family garage. The argument soon ropes in Anna (Amy Rapp), Josh’s fiancée, throwing Josh and Anna’s imminent wedding into jeopardy.

Keeping things simple can sometimes be the best option and Part 5B has the perfect amount of simple, taking a disagreement and then slowly applying an increasing amount of pressure until it explodes. A casual conversation with the added element of missing the one part of a machine that you need to keep it together, is a recipe for much frustration and charged words, which is exactly what happens.

Quick cuts and fast dialogue keep the film moving fast, and make the ever growing anger intensified and even more entertaining and tense. If the filmmakers had chosen to use a one shot or minimal style with editing, it certainly wouldn’t have the potent effect that it does. There’s a well written sibling rivalry between Rapp and Lydic, the clashes and similarities are paced well to stop them from feeling forced, the amusing coincidences are many and feel natural between the two.

The costume choices also perfectly represent the characters and consequent personality traits that emerge during the argument, especially that of Gill’s classic toxic masculinity, and those touches add a lot of quality to a short film. It’s also a huge benefit that the whole thing comes across as an event that could happen, putting in-laws in a small environment with a frustrating task is always going to be a recipe for disaster.

Part 5B is a great balance of simple story with quick edits and fast dialogue. It’s entertaining, realistic and surprisingly, for a film that only lasts a few minutes and takes place in one room, fast paced. Taking a plain argument and turning it into a life-altering, screaming match, including comparing reactions to customer service reps and bantering insults, was a great basis for a short film and the filmmakers did a brilliant job of bringing it to the screen.

Verdict: ✯✯✯

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