Mail Time (2016) Silence is Golden (Review)


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Written, directed, produced and edited by Sebastian Carrasco Mail Time shows what can be done with a minimal amount of production staff and money.  At under 7 minutes long, this “silent” short film proves that “silence is golden” when done properly.  (There is one spoken bit of dialogue, but that is done by actor Ed Norton in a clip from the 2006 film The Illusionist.) 

Ted (Timothy J. Cox) delivers the mail every day on his normal route. To spice things up, the postman uses magic with little positive reaction from the people he delivers to. In fact, the only resident who seems pleased to see the lonely chappy is the woman at 280 Mead Street (played by Makeela Frederick). 

The magician does his tricks for an unappreciative audience who have most likely seen the tricks a million times.  Undeterred, the postman maintains his smile. Although at the doors, his grin starts to resemble an almost desperate rictus of hope as he presents his limited bag of tricks.

Ted is robbed by a hooded man with a knife. The criminal not only takes his money, he empties the postman’s bag and kicks the mail about.  Later, Ted is watching “The Illusionist” and the film inspires him.

Sebastian Carrasco has deftly taken a short subject; a tiny glimpse at a man’s repetitive and boring job and turned it into something special. With a reported budget of $1 thousand dollars  and a very intimate cast of two, the film creator has come up with a little bit of magic.

A splendid mix of fantasy and comedy set against a classical score that reeks of gravitas makes for a brilliant short film. (Another of those under 10 minute films that could be classed as “Flash Films.”)  Mail Time delivers across the board in terms of cast, Cox never turns in a mediocre performance he gives his all every single time, and story.

For a film of such short duration, Carrasco manages to insert not one but two twists and ends the film on a high.

As yet another  “cottage industry”  filmmaker, Carrasco’s short effort looks crisp and clear. The editing is spot on and the choice of music, combined with the subject matter of a magical postman, is nigh on perfect. This is a chap to keep an eye on.

The character of the postman is amusing and rather single minded. This works for the film, turning the surprise twists into something quite special.  It also makes the man more likable thereby making his rejection from the residents all that more disconcerting.

Watching the man excitedly notice that the woman from 280 Mead St. has mail, the viewer can feel and empathize with his pleasure. She is, after all, the only person to acknowledge his existence as a fellow human being.

The smile, the small wave, and the shared pleasure at seeing one another could have sent the film toward a romantic setting . Although, the bit of  magic later on does seem to indicate that the woman really is rather special to Ted and vice versa.

Sebastian Carrasco has fired on all cylinders here. His story and use of a silent film delivery with a fantasy storyline really works.  A full 5 star effort and very entertaining.

Bravo.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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