Review: A Fox in the Night

Written, directed and led by Keeran Anwar Blessie, excited for a night out on the town, flamboyant and confident Lewis is suddenly cautious and uncomfortable when a friend asks him to pick up something from his dealer, Daniel. On arrival, he’s confronted with an unexpected connection. Starring: Korey Ryan, Harry Bradley, Matthew Faucher and Rachael Neary.

Based on every film or television show you’ve seen before, the idea of an unusual evening started by meeting a drug dealer means you’d probably expect A Fox in the Night to end up in some form of violence, chase or destruction. Now, immediately throw away that thought because Keeran Anwar Blessie is not going down those cheap, predictable and clichéd roads, instead he has created something truly refreshing and unexpected. His story cleverly uses the expectation of that perception and turns it on its head. There’s a genuinely special quality to how the film unfolds, gathering this beautiful feeling of support and boosting confidence, all tinged with a flirty air. It keeps you unsure of where it’s going while creating this connection and atmosphere which are totally unusual and utterly endearing.

One of the several smart elements to A Fox in the Night is how it uses tension, that initial discomfort of Lewis, played by writer, director Keeran Anwar Blessie, sets up a perfect uncertainty. It’s partially leading you down the road you know to pull you in with all the varied potential avenues it could take but never intending to take them. It builds this atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, it’s a blend of different emotions, almost creating a nervousness. It simply moves in a different way that immediately peaks your curiosity. It’s also just extremely well shot and well contained, existing in mostly one location but never feeling closed off. It brings that classic London air but isn’t suffocated by it or stuck in stereotypes.

Every element is then improved by the chemistry and connection between Keeran Anwar Blessie and Korey Ryan. They are sincerely fun to watch together and there’s such a natural flow to their conversation, while still holding a little bit of anxiety and self-consciousness. Ryan gives us a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover, he creates this brilliant blend of different qualities and a character who is wholly original and impressively charming. Blessie gives us a touch more of what we already know but the character still feels new, he’s a combination of familiar yet different that works well. Meaning that when you put the two of them together, Blessie’s Lewis can be the guide into this budding connection.

A Fox in the Night is an unexpected delight. Using the audience’s preconceptions against them to give you a positive, entertaining and charming experience. It shouldn’t be a rare thing to come across a film creating such an air of supportiveness but it is, so it’s wonderful to see here. Keeran Anwar Blessie and Korey Ryan are a pleasure to watch at work, their connection is flawless and they truly create characters that you want to see more from. Blessie’s direction then caps things off with an intimate yet unpredictable air that manages to blend tension, flirtation and hopefulness, which is even more impressive given that it’s his directorial debut.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯½ | 9/10

Longlisted at BAFTA 2023 for best ‘British Short Film’ and currently available on All4

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