Does this look like the smile of a killer?
In the early moments of writer / director Phil Newsom’s short Simple Mind, I was, admittedly, slightly perturbed, as I thought I was being treated to yet another in a long line of tales of an ordinary guy hashing out his life issues with his therapist. We’ve seen too many of these movies, in my view.
Well, Simple Mind does feature that and then it features a little more. In fact, it features a lot more?
The film opens to a man sitting on a bench, a rather ordinary guy named Bob (the always top notch Timothy J. Cox), who is definitely your average Joe type that you see on the streets every day. Bob is waiting for the woman that he’s in love with, Samantha (Kristi McCarson), who is young, attractive and vivacious, while Bob is schlubby and rather unkempt, but there’s also a gentle quality about him. Bob is also quite determined to find love and happiness, so he decides to pay Samantha a visit. Bob is so certain of his love for Samantha and that the love will be returned that he can’t help but smile. He’s describing his experiences to his therapist, who is unseen (until the end of the film).
Bob knocks on her door; Samantha opens it. Bob smiles….and then the film takes an unexpected turn.
As we learn in Phil Newsom’s 13 minute short film, Bob is by no means an average Joe, but in reality, a cold, methodical murderer who loves his work and wants the credit and the glory that comes with it? He calls himself the best, but there’s a few surprises in store for Bob as the film progresses, but to see them, you’ll have to see the film for yourself.
Yes, I’d say that Simple Mind features a lot more.
What I liked immensely about the film was that Newsom and his talented cinematographer Paul Nameck managed to do what a great thriller should do and that’s keep the audience on their guard and keep them guessing…with the aid of great storytelling, camera work and acting and without the aid of the gore and special effects of big budget features.
As the object of Bob’s affections, Kristi McCarson shines, but at the heart of Simple Mind is the wonderful performance by Timothy J. Cox, who continues his streak of impressive performances. This time he’s crafted a charming and sweet guy upon first glance, but beneath that charming smile of his lies a subtle malevolence and creepiness that, rightly so, takes you by surprise. Bob and the equally creepy Orange Green, another role that Cox played so wonderfully, in last year’s acclaimed short Terry Kendall and Orange Green would make an interesting pair. It’s a frighteningly good performance in a delightfully complex and twisted short film.
Simple Mind is available for viewing on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuT2a1_0cVQ.