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Guardians Review

Like Helen Mirren…

There’s a few things you could do with £7,000. Buy a car, buy a motorbike, redecorate, some essential jobs around the house, make a film?

After a recent split from his long-term girlfriend, Carlson, Matt Prendergast (Drunk On Love, Modern Love), takes a job as a house sitter for some thinking space.

He’s shown around the house by the agent, Buxton, Mike Shephard (Heckle, Stained (Short)), a man who doesn’t stop talking, says ‘boffo’ a lot and generally epitomises every estate agent you can think of.

Carlson isn’t alone in this house though, he has for company Lavender, David Whitney (Cain Hill, Heckle), who is a compulsive liar who sounds like he’s a tory-supporting former Etonian.

Both men are told a story about the old house now being haunted and Lavender, never one to let an opportunity for a story he can embellish fly past, spouts his mouth off to the wrong people, who subsequently break into the house to find some mysterious gold that may, or may not, actually exist.

Writer and director Mark A. C. Brown (Heckle, Corinthian (Short)) made Guardians for an estimated £7,000. This obviously means the film doesn’t have the large, polished production feel of a major Hollywood blockbuster, however, what Brown has turned out is a decent, funny film nonetheless.

The humour throughout is bawdy and doesn’t hold its punches. A sub-story involving Buxton and Lavender’s little side-line into high class sex parties with prominent MP’s is a funny one and Carlson’s reasons for wanting to get into the house-sitting business in the first place is a believable one.

The problem is that the pacing feels off. Despite a run-time of just an hour and 24 minutes there are times when the movie slows down and momentum is lost.

There’s also not enough emphasis given to one particular strand of the story. Each seems to have similar screen-time which means none of them really come to the fore. It adds to the feeling that the movie could have been split up into a sit-com. Though that could be the setting which is very ‘Spaced’ in its look and feel at times.

I don’t want any of this to put you off seeing Guardians though, in fact I’d urge you to seek it out and see it.

For a first-time feature length movie, made on a shoe-string budget, what Brown has given us is a look at exactly what he’s capable of. The movie is pact full of wonderful ideas and shows a writer and director who appears to have plenty of potential.

He gets some good, funny performances from his cast, creates interesting characters and shows some good choices with camera shots, making use of mirrors for example, things that give you a desire to see more of his work.

For fans of independent movies, Guardians is a funny, well-thought out movie that showcases some real British talent we can look forward to seeing more of in the future.

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