I genuinely admire the evolution and growth of young, emerging filmmaker Kabir McNeely. His first feature, The Lies We Tell, was a very ambitious, though flawed, micro-budget indie film. Now he’s starting to come into his own and shows fantastic progress with his short film, My Name is Moe.
McNeely stars as Moe, a young man struggling with a weight problem. Every day is a constant reminder that he’s fat, a failure, and needs to drop a ton of weight. Every day, he is reminded of his condition as he’s ridiculed by children, becomes a disappointment to his coach and parents, and is mocked by his peers. The pressure mounts when Moe is invited to a friend’s house for a party, and he decides he must lose ten pounds in two days.
“Every day is a constant reminder that he’s fat, a failure, and needs to drop a ton of weight.”
My Name is Moe is a fantastic short film, so I’ll make my criticism brief. Better sound and lighting is the next step toward moving in the right direction for a no-budget filmmaker. Recording equipment is as inexpensive as ever, and decent yet cheap lighting is worth the investment at only a few hundred dollars.
The story is where McNeely succeeds. The filmmaker places us right into Moe’s shoes of shame. While we’re familiar with feelings of being bullied and self-hatred, McNeely uses a calendar and Post-It Notes to bring out the hopelessness we feel in that daily struggle to lose weight and feel healthy. He also bravely walks us down the path of eating disorders, specifically bulimia.
My Name is Moe succeeds because writer/director/star Kabir McNeely connects audiences to Moe’s troubles right off the bat. He then walks us through every painful emotion and thought of his main character. McNeely then finds light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all a formula for great storytelling.
For screening information, visit the My Name is Moe Facebook page.
"…story is where McNeely succeeds."