Six Shooter (2004) (Unrated)
"Six Shooter" is a short film by Martin McDonagh, his first directorial piece. It focuses on one man (Brendan Gleeson) whose wife has just died.
He is sent into an emotion tailspin, trying to grasp at reality but too far from it to clench it in his hands. He talks to his wife and asks her where she is now—one of the favorite themes of McDonagh is the afterlife. Then he places a picture of the pet rabbit on her bed and walks out the door and is soon on a very emotional train ride home.
The train is filled with people who are devastated, the couple sitting a little behind the man are shocked at the sudden death of their son. Everything starts to heat up when a young boy (Rúaidhrí Conroy) starts talking...and never stops. From the first moment that the man asks if the seat across from him is taken, the mouth of the youth never closes. The words that flow out of the boy's mouth start with sarcasm and slowly work their way up to offensive and then almost nonsensical.
He's brutal to the mourning couple, provoking the woman to take drastic measures for peace of mind.
But there is something innately fascinating about the kid in the way that Hannibal Lecter is interesting. He's obviously got something different happening upstairs but he is able to pass himself off as normal to an extent. It's just another example of Hollywood insanity.
The train itself is the setting of the main part of the film, it is the element that is used quite effectively. Movement is a train—and the characters move faster and faster towards the typical explosively climatic ending. The train is also sealed—it is a prison of some sorts, a place where you think differently.
We see themes that McDonagh would pick up and explore much deeper in his debut film "In Bruges": children in peril, the mind of a psychopath (also explored in "Seven Psychopaths"), a dark humor that is unparalleled, the afterlife, and dealing with death.
McDonagh is always original and fun. His dialogue is obscenity-filled and his action is always quick and bloody.
"Six Shooter" isn't perfect, there are jumps that are too hasty and jokes that are too bizarre to do any good.
This short film won McDonagh an Oscar and launched the director's career.
It's quick and brutal and very entertaining.
Score: 3 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones