Fixer seems routine. In fact, writer-director Luke J. Salewski wants his drama to seem that way. From every angle, this is a short film that appears straightforward, right up until it isn’t. It has a simple premise, a simple scope, and a resoundingly sharp payoff.
The movie follows a single conversation between Nate (Joshua Walters), a retired cop, and Bri (Aubrey Seibert), his wife. Bri suspects something has been amiss with her husband since his retirement. Indeed, she’s right; he is hiding his nightly vigilantism from her.
“… is hiding his nightly vigilantism from her.”
The entirety of Fixer takes place in Nate’s garage. It is a meticulously realized space that allows for a meaningful back-and-forth between the two characters. Furthermore, the discussion is clean and to the point, building on universal themes of spousal trust, insecurity, and feelings of being past one’s prime.
All of it works well for what would be a good but altogether typical film if that’s all that Salewski had intended. Instead, with the final act, Salewski builds upon all the themes to deliver a poignant revelation for both the characters and the narrative. Though it is but a small bite of cinema, Fixer resurrects something genuinely lost in so many modern movies: genuine surprise.
"…resurrects something genuinely lost..."