By Will Barber Taylor
SUKI is a dark comedy short film about a detective and a serial killer.
Short films are difficult to make, particularly if it is your first time. They can take time and you may not always be happy with the final work. It might not be perfect, but you shrug your shoulders and move on. Suki isn’t a film that anyone involved in should shrug their shoulders and move on from – it is a funny, engaging comedy that utilises its time brilliantly and ensures that once you finish watching it, you’ll want to encourage someone else to.
The film follows the career of serial killer Suki (Xinyi Cui) who is hunted by an unnamed detective (John Venable) who believes that he will be able to catch her and ensure that his name goes down in history. However, all doesn’t go so well – indeed his attempt to catch her end in ridicule. Whilst the plot may seem somewhat thin, for a short film it works and the story flows along at a strong and energetic pace.
Writer David Parker creates two vibrant characters in both Suki and the Detective; they stand out not simply because of how contrasting they are but also because of the strong characteristics they are each given. Though Suki is silent throughout the film her presence and cold, unemotional response to the pleads for mercy from her victims is a frighteningly realistic.
The Detective is the exact opposite – blustering and pompous he resounds with emotional baggage and a desire to go down in history as the man who captured Suki; so much so that he fails to do his job properly. Not only do the clear and diametrically opposed personalities stand out for the viewer they allow the dark comedy to flourish too. Were the two protagonists to be too similar or in anyway reflective of one another then the dark humour wouldn’t be nearly as effective – contrast is key to the comedy.
The performances are great, particularly from the two leads – both Cui and Venable perform their parts wonderfully. Cui’s stillness is what gives her character her truly frightening quality– she is almost without fear and therefore immune to any sane human interactions. Venable gives an equally engaging performance and makes his character utterly believable as a cocky and venal man who is certain he can catch Suki.
Director Noel Miller brings a flair to his direction of the film and engenders in his audience both feelings of terror and humour. The shot composition throughout is beautifully rendered and Miller’s staging of scenes allows the film to flow naturally and the actors to play their parts in them with skill.
Suki is a darkly comic piece of genius that never overstays its welcome and makes you want to see more of its titular character. It is available to watch on Youtube below so make sure that you check it out.