Directed by Kat Holm and written by lead actor Jonathan Geffner, Trillo and Suede are a ventriloquist and dummy detective duo based in Brooklyn NY, an alluring, mysterious woman, Fiona Fatale (Bex Odorisio) appeals to the detectives to find out the identity of her cheating husband’s lover. Also starring:, Hassan Farrow, Sabrina Geffner, Marc Lubbers and Josephine Pizzino.
If you see a detective with a dummy sidekick, your mind might be taking you along the lines of The Happytime Murders but don’t worry, it’s not going down that route. However, what does become very clear quickly is how self-aware the film is, it plays with being slightly meta, breaking the fourth wall and creates a show within a show. It feels like a very familiar type of humour, that’s reminiscent of shows like Angie Tribeca or (one that people outside of the UK might not be familiar with) A Touch of Cloth, playing with the overtly obvious to create something quirky, random and genuinely funny. The writing has a great patter to it, tapping into that classic fast-talking detective of the noir genre, it hits the parody note perfectly to feel fun and feed into the timeless quality that it has.
A quality that’s built by the cinematography and costume work, which impressively manages to make it feel part 1940s even though it’s clearly set in modern day. The direction has a similar quality, it both feels modern yet influenced by its noir roots, creating a comedy that’s almost akin to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It uses a variety of shots that take a sharp style then infuse it with humour, for instance adding out of place objects, to hit that quirky, parody tone.
Geffner, who is also the creator and executive producer, is a talented ventriloquist, it’s not simply throwing your voice but creating a persona and personality to the dummy which he definitely does here. It’s more impressive to then consider he’s playing two characters simultaneously and they’re both funny and interesting, and make a good duo. Adding in the rest of the cast, it’s a naturally blended ensemble, they all have a nice banter and chemistry, watching them act together and bring through that comedy feels effortless.
Trillo & Suede is funny, it hits the perfect note of parody and creates a surprisingly timeless quality despite its modern setting. It takes the patter and mannerisms of a noir and mixes it with a modern feel to make something that feels both classic and new. It has a great ensemble of actors who all feel instantly natural with one another and creates an easy-going, fun atmosphere that’s satisfying to watch.