DVD Shot Down

DVD Shot Down
DVD Shot Down
Run time: 70 min
Rating: 0.0
Genres: Comedy | Drama | Romance
Director: Nick Khoo
Writers: Nick Khoo
Stars: Renee Hodson, Emma Hughes, Glenn Millanta
A romantic comedy car crash – so horrible that you just can’t look away. Shot down is a collection of terrible romantically intended stories gone horribly wrong packaged in a nice little movie for everyone to see.
Country: Australia

1 Comment

  1. Recently I watched a very short animation called Road Rage by Nick Khoo – it was an amusing little film and yet for some reason I found myself looking at other stuff Khoo had done. This feature length effort was freely available for download so I had it without really thinking about it. When it came to watching Shot Down, I must admit that I was put off watching it by the idea of it being a indie no-budget effort which would probably end up being one of those "well done for trying" affairs which is full of spirit but not much else. In the end I came to watch it with a certain amount of reluctance.

    Initial impressions didn't do much to change my view – a raggedy looking leading man, cinematography that left the low-budget in no doubt and some special effects that were anything but. There is a certain irony in me not surrendering to first impressions and instead letting the film build on me, because that is basically the plot of the film. After seeing Steve literally and figuratively "shot down" by potential partner Lisa, we jump back through a snapshot of all the other times when he took a chance with the same results. Going through the usual cycle of feelings after yet another rejection, Steve's friends step in and decide he needs help with selling himself and building up things better. From here the film is in a series of chapters where we see Steve trying to win over Kelly, a cute girl he briefly interacted with at a bus stop once.

    The result is actually a pretty decent indie romantic comedy, which builds nicely on the genre standards despite being ultimately limited by its own resources. For the majority of the film we are with Steve and the chapter structure along with narration and animation works nicely to make for an amusing little romantic comedy which, thanks to its foundation in rejection, feels down-to-earth and accessible. It isn't hilarious during this, but it has a rough charm and spark which made me smile for most of the time. It badly needs some better set-pieces (like trailer material, or some just plain hilarious sequences) but it works pretty well with what it has.

    The problems get more evident as we go on though, and in particular as we come to the business end of the film the weaknesses show. The writing throws too many events and too much time into the story and it seems to only be happening for the sake of bringing things to an end, not as a natural part of the narrative. When the end comes too, it comes very quickly and asks a lot of the viewer to go with it and let our investment in the characters carry us through it. This is a problem because the characters are pretty thin on paper and really need the actors to do a great job. At times they do and for sure O'Donnell is better than his terrible haircut etc suggest, but the design of the look doesn't help him and when it comes to it he cannot sell all his lines – particularly the most important ones. Alongside him Hodson is okay but, while she acts "chemistry" at times, together they really don't seem to have a spark – or at least enough of one to make this work. Supporting turns are mostly the same level – good enough for the basics but can't step up beyond that.

    Technically the film is nicely constructed to try and cover weaknesses (eg subtitled scenes, animation to add style etc). It uses music well at times, but overuses it throughout the film. Visually the film has shots that are well framed, but at the same time has some which are static and highlight the limitations. Khoo does a good job with most of the script though and generally he gets the tone right for the most part, getting his genre base but bringing a fresh and realistic edge to the narrative and good humor to the delivery.

    As a film it is imperfect and does need a lot of polish that it isn't able to have in terms of performances, writing and technical aspects. There is charm here though and despite my initial impressions I found myself liking the film and enjoying it despite the weaknesses – to the point that I would love to see what Khoo could have done with more resources across the board.

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