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Covert Movements

by Cactus?


Toilet jokes, a P.I and an investigation with perfomers playing multiple roles. I'm going to apologise to you right here Cactus, my review notes are scattered possibly from writing in the dark and being tired so I was not really sure what happened in the film from a plot point of view. I recall your lead actress played this very deadpan, and there was a replica tank, but it was just unclear what happened.

Story: ?/5
Technical: 2/5
Elements: 2/5
Overall: Not fair to give a grade sorry. Not sure if that's on me not paying enough attention or if it was genuinely that confusing.

Ah, the 48hours subgenre of "everyday things being treated like epic genre stories". A classic.

"Covert Movements" concerns the an investigation, led by a "suave" PI, as to - not to put it too bluntly - who shat in the upstairs toilet. In classic 48hours fashion, it's a low-stakes story presented as a high-stakes one, with a twist ending that seeks to flip the whole thing on its head, as the PI seeks the culprit - while completely missing the much greater crimes committed by nearly every employee.

This type of story has been done many times in 48hours, right down to the structure of interviewing a number of characters and giving them all cutaways to illustrate their dodgy behaviour. That structure creates quite an episodic and repetitive film, and doesn't offer up many turns that heighten the audience's buy-in into the story. That issue is compounded by the team's choice to cast actors in multiple roles, without much in the way of different characterisation, meaning the audience is often left confused as to who's speaking and which characters we should be paying attention to. It's especially weird when the boss calling the PI is the same actor as the PI himself. Next time, the team could look at acknowledging the similarities between characters, creating greater differences between them visually or in performance, or just writing for the cast they have.

It all culminates in an ending that comes out of nowhere, and not in a great way. Unless I missed something amid the multi-role cast, the character revealed as the culprit at the end is only first introduced in the scene where that is revealed. Without really knowing anything much about the characters, and without knowing anything AT ALL about that character, the "big reveal" is meaningless to us. The fact that he has a legitimate reason for doing what he did is funny, but it'd be way more satisfying if it was a character introduced earlier.

Next time, I would recommend going for quality over quantity when it comes to characters. It'd be far more interesting watching a small handful of developed characters going back and forth over whodunnit than seeing a sprawling cast of confusing cameos barely getting a word in.

Hope that guy's leg gets better.

A really funny film which looks like it would have been super fun to make.

The performances and characters here are all world class, in particular Jordan's closet murderer and Courtney's eccentric heister are very good.

I'm a little meh on the poop focused story, and I feel like I've seen this interogation-for-silly-crime model of 48Hour film exist before - right down to it being a workplace comedy.

My biggest issue would be, with what was clearly a limited cast, I don't think the story benefits from having multiple characters played by the same actors - this works in a sketch format, but this is too long and too structured for that, and otherwise it's a decision which feels like it needs to be creatively justified, here it just feels like you ran out of actors hahaha.

Things you got right: Some really fun performances from some actors who are clearly enjoying acting

Things to work on for next time: Maybe being a little more focused with your story, maybe upping the stakes and focus on quality over quantity,

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