By Felix Vasquez Jr. | October 16, 2007

How much is your soul worth?

Can it be counted? Can it be valued? More importantly, is money the price for it? If you could kill anyone in the world and gain a reward from it, would you take it? Would rationalizing eventually take hold?

How much is someone else’s soul worth?

Ten million dollars? Would you take ten million dollars to kill someone you don’t even know? And at the end of the day, would you really be able to live with yourself and tell yourself that you really caused no harm?

That’s the dilemma with Mr. Roberts, a man who finds himself in a mid-dimension greeted by a suited man behind a desk and antagonizes him into pushing a black button. If he presses it, he kills someone at random, and he gains ten million dollars, but if he doesn’t, he gets to leave and someone else takes the offer.

In the end, Crandles’ short film is a wonderful experiment with a Serlingesque take on morality and the ultimate price of gain in exchange for life. The film obviously bears a miniscule budget, but that’s basically undercut by the wonderful acting, and the surprise ending that is predictable, but delivered with plenty of finesse and dark wit to be forgiven.

“Black Button,” with the above par production qualities and sly story is hopefully the introduction of a promising director, and it’s a take on good and evil that I rather enjoyed.

Would you push the button?

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