A young boy is caught in the middle of a heist gone wrong in writer-director Joseph Charafi’s action short, Censure Margin. Our story opens at the dropoff point in the middle of the desert, and immediately the confrontation begins. The “case” isn’t there, and dirty cop Walker (Kyle Carrell) thinks hired killer Engle (Michael Forsch) has it. What they don’t know is that neither has the case. During an intense stand-off, our bloodied combatants chase after the case and its mysterious contents.
The chase leads to the home of young Reece (Lucas Charafi) and his mother, who has the case. When Engle arrives, Reece is given the case and told to run. But, Reece is barely able to escape before running into Walker, who appears to be the lesser of the two evils, and the two of them mount an escape. But, who can Reece really trust, and what’s so important about the glowing object in the case?
“…Reece is barely able to escape before running into Walker, who appears to be the lesser of the two evils…“
Censure Margin is a thrilling tale of “last man standing wins the case.” Charafi finds great inspiration from the likes of Tarantino as he orchestrates one brutal battle after the other. Where the filmmaker excels is his ability to stage his action in a relatively sparse environment. Most of the shootouts and fights take place around a car on the road, but Charafi can take this simple set-piece and elevate the action each time to make each scene feel fresh and different.
Censure Margin runs a quick thirty minutes but has the trappings of a feature film. Kyle Carrell and Michael Forsch give convincing performances as compromised killers while adding their unique take on Walker and Engle. My only qualm is the message at the end of the film. I’m still trying to connect the story with the issue-based themes. I’m sure there’s an allegory somewhere, but these few seconds don’t get in the way of the thrills.
For screening information, visit the Censure Margin Facebook page.
"…orchestrates one brutal battle after the other."
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