Shot almost entirely on location in Clapham, London, with a budget that would almost certainly be defined as the true indie test; we have the debut short film from A J Singh The Recovery.

We follow the story of Alfie, the gambler, the alcoholic, the perpetually battered and the bruised (ego included!) With his happy go lucky mentality, he’s slapped down with a wake up call, leading him down a path of an unpredictable recovery process, one of the body and one of the soul.

It’s evident that the short excels in action, old school martial arts, drawn from a deep rooted knowledge of the golden era. This is further reinforced with a great musical accompaniment that give the short the beginnings of its own identity with visual effects that are on par with any big bucks production.

There’s an odd mixture of sorts when it comes to comedy, however, almost as if there was a collision in the creative choices executed, perhaps compromises were made and to its detriment. In one hand, there are humorous anecdotes delivered with an impeccable precision, and in the other, cheap puns that would make the hardest of stomachs cringe.

It’s as if we’re working our way through a jigsaw puzzle, but some of the pieces simply don’t fit, as much as you’d like them to.

It would however, be unfair to review this short within the realms of professional film making with the understanding that there are no professionals involved in the typical sense. You can look past the visual and technical hurdles that weren’t quite overcome or the lapse in some performances, because at the core of The Recovery, there is a message that desperately wants to blossom but it’s somehow stifled itself from doing so.

There’s most certainly an untapped talent here, with cast and crew alike, maybe this talent just needs a few more bouts with storytelling before it can be fully realised. The effort, however, is apparent.

For what this short stands for, to many people out there who’s ambition it is to make film or dream of doing so. I wholeheartedly applaud this.

3/5

Dir: AJ Singh
Scr: Jon Bailie, AJ Singh
Cast: Jon Bailie, Stephanie Riviere, Vic Waghorn, Mark Sears
Prd: Jon Bailie, AJ Singh
DOP: AJ Singh
Year: 2016
Running Time: 45 mins