The new short film Disposable, by Twm Burrows and Dale Southall is deliberately murky. While the inky-black shadows are certainly an aesthetic choice, the style is also smart enough to speak to the themes it explores.
Opening your film with a quote can be twee if your final product fails to accomplish it's goals. Disposable bravely opens with a quote form Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Yet, rather than use a powerful quote as short cut to instil an idea, there's an uneasy defacing. It cunningly shifts the mood before the film even opens on our main anta/protagonist. Cleverer still, is it's subtle shift to, perhaps, reflect the mind of the main character.
Rather than a preachy lament on violence in our culture, Disposable is bold enough to explore the idea. The introduction of the main character is just as subtly adept as the opening quote. The sound of gunfire, combined with the flickering light from the TV, very much offer the idea of sedation - as if the violence is literally and metaphorically projected through the senses of want-to-be hitman, Charlie White.
Burrows and Southall are canny in the use of tropes an audience has become used to when it comes to flashes of violence, while still keeping it relevant to Charlie's journey into darkness. The camera unflinchingly observes the violence laid before it. Neither sensationalising or fulfilling. These aren't lazy shot-for-shot facsimiles, rather unsettling testament to how far Charlie has gone - or he's been taken.
It's always a very brave move for a filmmaker to present an idea without offering a resolution or a hint to which way the audience should lean. Disposable feels like the Coen's Blood Simple, but if it had it's opening scene penned by Irvine Welsh. It may be an unsettling journey, but one very much worth taking.
Watch Disposable below and make sure to follow @TwmBurrows on twitter: