Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Greetings Red Mango Readers and Caribbean film fans. So last week I mentioned two Trinidad and Tobago short form shows that were recommended to me, namely Chee$e and Fish. And again, it sounds delicious. Well, I already dropped Chee$e so it’s time to serve the Fish, a gritty 2012 crime drama written and directed by Shaun Escayg, who has worked as an animator for blockbuster film Transformers: Dark of the Moon and as creative director on video games Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Marvel’s Avengers.
The plot of Fish follows two homeless cousins Fish and Sticky (Marc Escayg and Carlos Quashie Jr respectively) who operate as petty thieves in the local market. Their lives take a dark turn when they are captured and interrogated by some vicious criminals who believe they stole money from them.
The runtime is just over 14 minutes but Escayg packs a lot of story into it. You get a feel for the characters, their dynamic and their unfortunate circumstances. The narrative jumps back and forth between the interrogation and their lives but it never feels jarring. And the film benefits from the stark contrast between the lighter, almost comedic earlier scenes and the brutally intense interrogation scene. The cinematography is well done including an underwater sequence, which is something you don’t see a lot in local films. And there is some very strong practical effects work in here as well.
Actor Anthony Lawrence previously impressed me as vile gangster “Babyface” in mystery crime drama Sweet TNT, but he is even better here as brutal criminal “Surgeon”. This dude is chilling and I don’t think he got that nickname because of his medical expertise. Quashie also puts in good work as the sympathetic Sticky and Marc Escayg is okay if somewhat uneven as the titular protagonist. The bookend narration could have been stronger as well.
But those are minor issues in a very well-made film filled with gripping tension and some shocking violence. Easily one of the best short films I have ever seen from TT and the wider Caribbean.
Editor Jules’s Score: 8 out of 10
You can watch Fish for yourself by clicking the following link. And you can check out more great TT content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.