Once in a while there comes along a short film which completely captivates you and leaves you longing for more — Dan Rosen’s Joe & Mary’s Kid is that kind of rare treat.
The story follows Joe and Mary who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to have a baby, resulting in the couple trying the adoption route. After receiving a rejection letter from an adoption agency, Joe’s determination in producing an offspring sees him create a robotic child named Izak. Joe’s assiduousness is well-intentioned, but the repercussions of creating this not quite so human starts to filter through into everyday life for the new parents. Mary tries her best in adapting to Izak, yet she is all too aware that it’s not a real child, it’s not a newborn – it’s a mechanical being which eerily echoes some human traits. Joe has all the zeal of a new father, enthusiastic to the core as he does his best to welcome his creation into the family.
Dan’s film manages to not fall into any one genre and succumb to the trappings which sometimes happens. It’s an intimate tale, which many people out there will find themselves in and relate to, as well as being a wonderful piece of sci-fi comedy, yet not losing itself and sliding too far into melodrama or sentiment. Geraint Hill (Joe) and Marley Hamilton (Mary) put in sterling performances in which you absolutely grasp the expectations and emotions of the couple (really can’t wait to see them in future productions.) Director of photography is Adrian Peckitt, who wonderfully sets each scene to bring out the best of the performances within the settings. Jem Demirel (Izak) is believable as a robot, which isn’t exactly easy to play. The balance between human and robotic movements is well done, and combined with having to play as if you’re a new life, makes it a stand-out performance, too. Izak’s costume is superb with its worn look and panel beaten construction.
All of this is brought together by writer/director Dan Rosen, whose well-crafted script and direction will have you laughing at scenes such as when Izak names the dog ‘Affectionate Dog’, and leave you pondering the ups and downs of raising a robotic child. There are many other touches which are magnificently revealed through insightful and carefully revealed direction.
Dan is currently looking at turning the short into a feature-length movie and given how impressive his work here has been, it would be great to see him given the space to expand upon his magnificent story. You can watch the short film below and also give them a follow over on Facebook, where you can check up on developments.