Film Reviews

Let's say you never imagined the results of one gun shot on a community or a couple or a culprit. Let's say you are woefully ignorant or willfully unlettered in the violent world around you. But, let's say, you want to learn, to pick up just a skosh of information about the consequences of violence. 

Plus, you're open to experimental film. Then, Shot is for you. Or for social studies classes of 6th graders for whom clichés are still fresh and discussable. For you and them, Shot works. 

A couple, Mark and Phoebe, are breaking up, kind of like the couple in the beginning of the recently released film Stronger. Miguel, a bullied boy, falls for the seduction of a gun to get back at his antagonists. In examining this possibility, Miguel shoots the gun into Mark's lung. Mark hits the ground, and Miguel hits the streets.

Director Jeremy Kagan records both male's reactions in real time. He splits the screen to show the victim stunned and lying on the ground as his nearly divorced wife screams for 9-1-1. In the other half the screen, Miguel tries to get rid of the gun, to get help from his mother and his priest, and to shed his guilt. In the other half the screen, Mark is prepped for surgery after a ride in an ambulance, complete with singing.

Then, Kagan moves these three lives forward by five months to a climactic end. Kagan's work goes all the way back to Heroes in 1977 and includes The Chosen. He has a point to make with "Shot" about the gun violence that kills 90 people a day in America. 

The cast starts with Noah Wylie, very effective as Mark, and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Miguel, also seen recently in Spiderman. Malcolm-Jamal Warner plays an amusing EMT, and St. Louisan Sarah Clarke plays a doctor. Shot is not sophisticated, but it is truthful, which is, after all, the basis of most clichés.

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