A young man is given a new lease of life from a stranger in John Hopper’s latest short Christian drama Paid in Full. We take a look at the film, right here.
Whilst they may be big business, there surprising isn’t many truly great Christian based movies. For every Passion of the Christ, we get a Left Behind or a Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas; with the latter currently sitting at #8 on IMDBs worst movies of all-time list and a score of 1.5/10. Yet, there will always be potential for good stories to be told about religion and its followers.
John Hopper is a young and up-and-coming filmmaker from Australia who specialises in faith-based movies. His previous efforts Gone, Sovereign and Bus Stop have all done well and been well received. Now, he returns with his latest short film Paid in Full.
Joseph (Cantona Stewart) feels like he hasn’t got much to live for following the tragic death of his girlfriend and, after a near-fatal run-in with some drug dealers, he meets Evan (Shaun Ridley), a young man who likes to walk around with his Holy Bible and spread the word of God. After this incident though, instead of preaching, Evan listens to Joseph’s story and offers advice as best he can.
Hopper is wise in not making the material overly religious, but more about how we, as humans, can never truly tell what the person next to us is going through or has been through. How offering an ear can help those who are struggling and that it is truly good to help. It’s a nice thought and lesson.
The performances of the two main characters are pretty solid. Stewart portrays Joseph as a young man who, through no fault of his own, finds himself quickly moving down the wrong road, whilst Ridley’s Evan is confident, caring and someone who has fought hard to turn their life around.
Whilst some of the shots by cinematographer Caleb Trevatt are nice, especially the beach scenes, others are pretty basic with little to no light used. The score has a nice effect with the imagery and is sometimes haunting thanks to composer Petteri Sainio. Paid in Full does have some audio issues, especially with the foley effects and with room noise. This is highlighted in the scene where our two main characters are sat chatting under a tree. When we cut from one over-the-shoulder to another, the background noise is completely different and a little jarring.
Still, Hopper shows a lot of promise. His story has a good moral foundation and there is definitely an audience that will enjoy his short film.