While clearing out a flat prior to repainting, old friends Frasier (Steven Patrick) and Tam (John Gaffney) come across a trunk full of old records. Letting their imaginations get the best of them, they begin wondering just how much money they can make off selling these albums. Unfortunately, co-worker Jim (Darren McColl) has also seen the trunk, and he wants in.
Frasier and Tam suggest that they leave the trunk for now, and decide what to do with it when they return to finish their job on Monday. All three agree, and go their separate ways. Of course, Frasier and Tam have no interest in sharing the loot, and come up instead with a plan to snag and sell the albums before Jim even knows what happened (lest they have to bump him off, which they’d rather not do).
Andy S. McEwan’s short film, Broken Record, gives us a delightfully crooked tale of a couple of knuckleheads thinking they’ve turned into criminal masterminds. While the film stays away from the madcap absurdist route, it’s nevertheless humorous to watch what happens when the dreams of treasure blind the duo to the reality of the situation; a reality that will have the final, cruel laugh.
It’s this morbid curiosity in how things will ultimately fall apart that keeps you intrigued throughout. You know these guys are in for it somehow, you just don’t know when things will go sour for the duo. When things do turn, it’s nothing epic or tragic, just something that underscores how pathetic their strike at criminality truly is.
The pace doesn’t drag, the elements of the narrative keep their momentum throughout and are easy to follow. It’s a pretty straightforward tale, the film looks great, and sounds pretty good overall (there’s some wind noise and the like, but most elements work in the mix regardless). The thick Scottish accents and vernacular can be extremely daunting to understand at times (particularly at the start), but even if you miss a word (or sentence) here or there, it doesn’t really ruin anything; you still know what’s going on.
Overall, Broken Record is an amusing short about what happens when big dreams and grand plans don’t match up with what life has planned for you. Frasier and Tam’s hopes aren’t necessarily bad ones, but it’s like spending all your lottery winnings before you even buy a ticket; yeah, you might win, but perhaps you should calm down a little until you find out.
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