In the community of Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago a group of men rob a driver and shoot him dead. While this may sound like a news story it is a scene from the 2018 crime drama short film Prodigal Son (Part One). 

The film tells the tale of Fryiy (Sheldon Richards), an unemployed man who turns to crime to provide money for his mother’s health expenses. When he gets a taste for the money and the high life he becomes a career criminal  engaging in lethal acts of violence. But through his life of darkness a glimmer of light and hope still shines through. Prodigal Son is directed by Asha King, who had her feature debut in December 2015 with the comedy drama This Love. Here is my spoiler free review:

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A scene from the film

King and the cast must be praised for the gritty realism of this film. The settings, dialogue, situations and violence all look and feel authentic. The acting is never over the top nor hammy and the characters feel real, which is critical for such a film to work. With that realism, however, there is a lot of profanity and graphic violence so conservative audiences do take note.

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A behind the scenes photo featuring the characters Uno and Fryiy

The plot of the film is simple and well executed for the most part. It moves quickly through Fryiy’s innocence to his fall from grace to his criminal career, but gives enough time for the audience to breathe. My only complaint would be the ending which may be setting up things for the second part of the film, but still seemed an odd to way to close things off. Still Prodigal Son must be praised for its stark, unrelenting depiction of crime and I am looking forward to seeing the second part.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here is the film for your viewing pleasure:

Rating: Prodigal Son gets 3.75/5 cautionary tales.

For my trailer review of TT crime drama The Deliverer you can click here.