Being hated, mistreated or judged because of your skin colour, country of birth or ancestry happens in the U.K. more than ever. More than it should be, because no matter where you’re from or what you believe, you deserve the same respect as people who are considered ‘the norm.
Many moviemakers from different backgrounds, origins and racial types want to bring topics such as inclusivity, racism and hatred to the big screen, but none of them does it like “The Long Goodbye”.
This latest short movie from director Aneil Karia (“Surge”) is packed with emotions, outstanding performances and an incredibly strong message that’s being heard loud and clear.
“The Long Goodbye” gives you a glimpse into the life of Riz (Riz Ahmed) and his British Pakistani family. At first, it seems that they live a peaceful, warm, and affectionate life. They’re playing games, decorating the house and preparing themselves for a joyful and festive wedding day.
There’s an upbeat, happy but tense and nervous vibe (the big day comes with many nerves). Sadly, their joyous day becomes the most horrible and devastating one when masked armed men enter the house and hold everyone at gunpoint. What happens next is something you should see for yourself.
While “The Long Goodbye” is only twelve minutes long, the short film absolute packs a punch and leaves an impressive impact on the audience. Karia’s filmmaking is extremely clever. First, he draws you into the story and the life of Riz by creating a loving and friendly family life as we all know it.
However, then he hits you with reality: British Pakistani (and other minorities) are still being beaten up, assaulted and looked down at, even if they’re born in the U.K. The abrupt and impactful change in storyline also impacts the cinematography by Stuart Bentley (“Surge”, “Muscle”).
At the beginning, there are light and bright colours, while the dark clouds and black shades darken the second part of the story. However, no matter what happens on screen, there are very compelling and touching close-ups.
Ahmed certainly knows how to put on a very emotional and poignant performance. From the wedding nervosity to the family love and from the fear during the raid to the anger during the aftermath, he portrays it stunningly.
On the 21st of December, it was announced that “The Long Goodbye” was shortlisted for the ‘Live Action Short Film’ Academy Awards category, and that nomination (and the possible victory) is extremely well deserved.
This timely film certainly is the wake-up call regarding violence, racism and intolerance that everyone needs to see. Not only because of the vital message but also because of the stunning performance and the thrill ride “The Long Goodbye” provides.
6th March 2020
THE QUICK SELL
Riz and his family are in the middle of a typical family day in their house, whilst a far right march plays out on the telly in the background, which eventually arrives at their front door, leading to a devastating outcome.