When a relentless and brutal interrogation becomes a therapy session, an assailant’s bloody and hopeless victim urges him to seek his true calling… social work.
So, working as an interrogator has to be a hard gig. Dale (Michael Butler Murray) is one such hard-working man. Wearing the standard issue vinyl smock, latex gloves, and basic (no shade thrown) grey long-sleeve, the film opens on him doing a normal round of dental torture. Pulling, grunting, angling for leverage, his victim screams in excruciating pain. POP! The tooth is pulled and Dale decides to relent for a break. His victim, (Marcus Henderson) compassionately begins chatting his captor up in the new comedy short, The Truth Seeker.
“…opens on doing a normal round of dental torture. Pulling, grunting, angling for leverage…”
It seems that Dale’s work has become a rather monotonous affair. “YOU! It’s always about you, you, you!” Dale bemoans. Soon, his guard is down and his victim starts extracting info from him. It turns out that Dale has a surprisingly strong talent for social work. That is if anybody would let him get a word in edgewise for once. Once the floodgates are open Dale is loose and discovers his knack for nurture.
Written by Murray, and directed by Stephen Mastrocola, The Truth Seeker is a funny little vignette that gives us a snappy little scene of dialogue and flips the script on the common tropes. Murray is channeling some severe Marc Maron here with his sardonic, observant script and delivery. Meanwhile his co-star Henderson is worth the watch as the resourceful captive. While Mastrocola does a fine job directing, coming into the action, pushing things just enough, this is Murray’s show.
The Truth Seeker felt like a really good opener for a mob movie where the guy behind the dirty work finally hits a wall and suffers a crisis of conscience. Can we have more? This was a great sample.
The Truth Seeker (2018) Directed by Stephen Mastrocola. Written by Michael Butler Murray. Starring Marcus Henderson, Michael Butler Murray.
7 out of 10