Grind (2017) short film review

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Having left Liberia to start a new life in the U.S. Robert Wilmote tries to keep away from the gangster lifestyle and better himself in the short film Grind by Yuri Alves.

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It really is exciting to be given the chance to see fresh talent creating fantastic works of art. Films (short and feature length) that make you think, make you watch in awe, make you talk. It’s one of the great advantages of being a reviewer for Screen Critix; seeing raw talent who will likely go on to big things. We have been lucky enough to witness some future greats before, and Yuri Alves is likely one of them. Having already reviewed an earlier piece in Exit Road, we were excited to see Grind and we weren’t disappointed. Grind shows an improvement in Alves’ filmmaking and story-telling skills.

Grind is a short eight-minute film based on the true story of Robert Wilmote – a man who moved to the United States from Liberia and was instantly caught up in gangster lifestyle. After being sent down to a hell hole of a prison, Wilmote decided to turn his life around and put all his effort into helping others, especially children. It’s an inspirational story and one that makes for a good subject matter.GRIND Poster 27x40 WEB 202x300 Grind (2017) short film review

What I found unusual about the short is that all the actors play themselves. So Robert Wilmote is actually portrayed by Robert Wilmote. I was extremely surprised by this, for the sole reason that he does a tremendous job. I thought I was watching a towering performance by an experienced actor yet, according to IMDB, his only acting credit to date is this, Grind. That is some achievement. Let’s hope he pursues a career in acting as he will surely get some decent work, especially on the back of this one.

The cinematography of Grind is stellar. There is not one bad shot and Mike Gomes (director of photography) does exceptionally well with his use of lighting and choice of lenses. From the gritty and dirty jail cells to the bright lights of a strip club, each frame is gorgeous to look at. You’d be mistaken for thinking you were watching a big budget feature. Alves who, as well as directing, also worked as the editor, keeps the story moving at a quick and interesting pace.

Grind is an exceptional short film. Stunning to look at with an inspirational story to boot, it’s one film that cannot and should not be missed.

5 / 5 stars     

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