Kaufman’s Game REVIEW

Kaufman’s Game REVIEW

0 comments 📅08 November 2017, 16:29

“A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.” So says Kaufman (Tor Andreas Fagerland), the shadowy figure of the title, who takes an interest in amateur boxer Stanley (a moody Jye Frasca) and plots to bring him into his criminal organisation.

Writer/director Helier Bissell-Thomas packs his film with sinister undertones, downplaying the brief action elements to greater effect. He also makes excellent use of London as a location, especially its sparser, often more derelict spaces, which add to the overall tone.

The middle section is slightly too ponderous, as the audience waits for things to ignite – bringing that gun in the briefcase or the baseball bat in the hallway into play. Yet it never goes full Danny Dyer, preferring to confidently build its mood, using the understated performances of its actors. In similar films, Toby Osmond’s drug pushing doctor would be a caricature mad scientist, but here he’s softly spoken and thoughtful. It’s also sad to hear that Fagerland passed away recently, having made such an impact.

What’s most impressive about Kaufman’s Game is that this is Bissell-Thomas’s feature debut. One brief moment of poor ADR dubbing aside, that’s never obvious, as this classy crime drama outshines its low budget. And there aren’t many films that list Franz Kafka among their ‘Special Thank You’ end credits, but this neo-noir does.

Release: Out Now
From: Ellipsis Films
Format: Theatrical Release
Age Rating: 15

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