Reviews Short Narrative

Eviction (2017) – 3 stars

Director: Teddy Nygh

Writer: Alex Tenenbaum

Cast: Kayode Ewumi, Natalie Gumede, Adam Deacon

Country of origin: UK

Running time: 18 mins

Created for a good cause, nonetheless confusing, Eviction depicts the modern-day drama of the housing crisis. Starring a number of award-winning young talents is, all-in-all, this is a well-made and pleasant film to watch, but it does not dive particularly deep into the subject matter.

In an homage to Bicycle Thieves, the story sees James make a poor decision to let go of his only tool for work, and the resulting domino effect leads to him receiving an eviction notice. Despite its good intentions, alongside a cast more than capable of delivering the snappy, streetwise humour of the script however, the style of Teddy Nygh’s filmmaking does not leave much food for thought.

The editing of the film also casts up confusion. The action becomes rather difficult to follow once Michelle, the love interest tags along. Am I watching a flashback? Is she James’ voice of consciousness? Is she even real?

The colour transition from grey to warmer tones is too apparent and not smooth at all, telegraphing the decreasingly surprising happy ending. In a way, this is befitting of the story, which is truly is a contemporary fairy tale and everything that entails: a bad guy, a girl and moral, but it does not possess the suitable gravitas to really tackle the subject matter in that case.

Overall grade: Eviction stars

Despite its story flaws, Nygh has created an enjoyable short film to try and tackle a worthy issue. Watching Eviction definitely reminded me of the times I needed advice on housing laws and regulations, and living in the Netherlands I surely wish the Dutch government had come up with a similar idea to raise awareness, as slum landlords are, unfortunately, commonplace here.

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