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Director Govind Chandran applies here the classic cinema style of shooting as the most appropriate solution to obtain a perfectly fluid narrative. In most part of the movie the shot/reverse shot is used while the victim talks to the two abductors. In these shots the impact is more than efficient because the camera is installed in the ideal place and position – in this sense, it breaks the obvious, for instance, by framing the victim between the backs of his opponents. The distance of the camera is also well planned, varying from the medium close-up shot (for the most part) to the extreme long-shot (the waiting) and to the extreme close-up (the surprising assassination moment). Besides, the use of ellipses helps to speed up the rhythm – for example, it prevents wasting time to show how the two women managed to put the sleeping victim on the chair. Chandran proves here that the use of shaking camera can be avoided; nevertheless, it is largely used in contemporary cinema as a poor resource to show modernity. 


Under orders from their employer, Frankie (Kelsey Cooke - Netflix' The Sandman) and Darlene (Noa Nikita Bleeker - Ted Lasso) take Mr. Mimoto (Jon Xue Zhang - Marvel's The Eternals) hostage. There's only one problem: He claims he's not Mr. Mimoto!

Is he lying? Is this all just a ploy? Or have they mistaken him for someone else?

Mr. Mimoto is the sort of short movie that could easily pass for an extract of a feature film. Although being shot with an economic budget of 800 GBP, it has elements that belong to a higher production level, especially the secure directing and the superb performances of the actors.

Cast: Jon Xue Zhang, Kelsey Cooke, Noa Nikita Bleeker

The producers of Mr. Mimoto were clever enough to maintain the shooting in one location – not only one sole house, but one specific room. This aspect allows it to save money in many aspects, not only in the rental and logistics, but also in the process of filming (I will refer to the directing in the next paragraph). Besides, the number of props is limited to what is necessary, but also allowing some small extravagancies such as the long grand piano. Even in the only action scene, the production is more than effective (and again with the support of an intelligent directing) in depicting a shocking murder with the use of the blood stains that spill in the face of one character (instead of showing the head of the victim being blown up). Enough said about the production, let’s move to the directing.

Produced by: Olivia D'Lima

Concerning the screenplay, also by Govind Chandran, the lines are great, especially the ones said by Frankie (Kelsey Cooke), who plays the not so smart abductor. The plot is simple, but it is able to create the very funny situation of mistaken identity, which leads to a clever arguing of the victim about racism. So, when it comes to the turning point, it really is a surprise, as the story was never moving towards such a violent outcome. The female protagonists, in fact, form such a charming pair that they could even be the lead characters of a feature film.

Written by: Govind Chandran

Under his direction, all three actors on the screen deliver outstanding performances, so that the delicate balance between comedy and crime is never broken. In certain moments, the tone comes close to Quentin Tarantino movies, revisiting his ability to create dialogues that seem in a world apart from the real danger around. However, if it were a Tarantino’s film, the killing would be much more graphic.

On the other side, the musical themes are not the best choices. The first one is a cliched tune for oriental motifs, used here just because of the victim’s origin, hence the title. However, the script is not really about Asians - in fact, the plot refers to racism towards them, thus those chords sound even more inadequate. And the second one echoes another cliché, a Mexican tune that is the ringing tune of one of the abductors’ cell phone when her boss calls. By doing so it seems to imply prejudice again. Anyway, this is a detail that can be easily amended, replacing these tunes by others with the same humorous tone but that are not ethnic.

Mr. Mimoto

2023, UK, 9 min

Directed by:  Govind Chandran

Eduardo Kaneco

Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica