When a new nurse, Dianna (Natalie Walker), comes to work at the rehab center where Martin (Shane Luther) is being treated, he falls for her. Problem is, she seems to be getting on famously with Nurse Gary (Alan King), much to Martin’s disappointment. But what is a man to do, when he can only communicate by blinking and turning his head slightly? Turns out, there’s a lot a man can do, particularly if they’re perfectly healthy and just pretending to be unable to move their body so that they can spend all day being doted on by nurses and doctors.
The Winking Boy is a short film that certainly earns the designation of “dark comedy” as poor Gary is subject to Martin’s devious plans. It’s not enough that Martin trip Gary up a bit, he won’t stop until, one way or another, Gary isn’t around anymore. And it’s funny, if remarkably dry at some points and outlandish in others.
As far as the technical aspects go, the film gets high marks all around. The cinematography is tops, the editing works to match the pace of the tone for any given scene (or sequence) and I particularly appreciated the score and audio mix. Obviously everyone knows what they’re doing.
And that extends to the actors as well. Alan King plays Gary so cheerful that it makes his decline all the more impressive; as an actor, he gave himself some space to work with the character. Shane Luther’s Martin is an unapologetic scumbag, ultimately, but somehow you find yourself maybe understanding where he’s coming from. Okay, not really, but for a character you shouldn’t be all that impressed with, he’s actually quite charming.
Overall, it’s a very well-made short film that is a lot of fun, especially if you’re okay with being entertained by horrible things happening to good people. Martin does more than remove an obstacle; Gary is a popular nurse who seems to have nothing but good in his heart for his patients, so the fall from grace is particularly brutal. But nonetheless very humorous.
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