A local football team desperately need a win in order to remain in their league. Unfortunately though, Stanley Beavers are terrible and are losing by a huge margin at half-time. We review the short comedy Half Time and Down.
Seeing as it is the biggest sport in the world, it is strange to think that football (or soccer for our friends across the pond) has featured so little in film. Yes, we had Goal!, When Saturday Comes and Escape to Victory, but very little else. Now, with Half Time and Down, writer/director Mark-John Ford has managed to capture the essence and spirit of the sport from the perspective of the game at the lowest level – a Sunday league team called Stanley Beavers.
Just by looking at this motley crew of players, we can immediately tell that Stanley Beavers aren’t the most successful of amateur football teams. The team is made up of some great individual characters – a stoner, a diabetic, a lady’s man, a drunk, a relic of a goalkeeper, an overweight centre forward – and we get to learn about each member with thanks to some sharp writing from Mark-John Ford.
With them facing being cut from the league by the board, Stanley Beavers are in desperate need of a win and the best performance of their career, but it all goes pear-shaped and the team are losing by six goals come half-time. The majority of the twenty minute short takes place in the changing room during the interval as manager Bob (Tom Davis) gives his pep talk. When we say pep talk, what we really mean is fifteen minutes of ripping into each individual with foul language and hilarious put-downs. It’s fair to say that Tom Davis, who is also a stand-up comedian and a veteran of UK television comedy, is on serious top-form and would be a safe bet to pick up some awards in the comedy short-film festivals this year. Davis spits out hysterical venom in retaliation for being embarrassed by his team’s lack of performance on the pitch, and it’s great to watch.
Every actor does a good job in their roles and Half Time and Down looks and sounds great throughout; I was left wanting more by the time the credits rolled. We at Screen Critix will be looking out for more films made by Mark-John Ford and his crew, as they did such a excellent job here.
Half Time and Down is now available on Vimeo on Demand and you can watch it for yourself for the paltry sum of £1.49. We really recommend you do so.
A great and funny short film with some excellent performances and a hilarious script; Half Time and Down is well worth a watch.