“Consequences” is directed by Nabil Nona an is about an autistic son and his father, who has deemed his disabled son a “burden”, and is desperate to abandon him in any way possible to absolve him of his parental duties, and finance his addictions. The father formulates a heartless and demonic plan to have his son mistakenly killed by police by sending his child to a playground with an airsoft gun, fashioned to look exactly like a real gun. As the police determine the child to be a threat and are eager to pull a trigger, will the father get what he wants, or has he bitten off more than he can chew?
Going into this short I wasn’t sure what to expect. The tone of the film is obviously bleak and dark, that I knew this wasn’t something I would feel good about after watching it. I believe that was exactly the point with director Nabil Nona, as he has made a suspenseful macabre tale that is as technically proficient as it is emotionally gripping.
To expand on the technical aspects of the short. I found myself very impressed with the camerawork and cinematography overall of this short. The framing is perfect, and the way the moments between the police and this boy is filmed not only had me completely engaged and terrified, but I couldn’t help but admire how well the tension was able to be portrayed by the camerawork and direction. The acting is also something worth praising, particularly between the boy and his father. The boy is very subdued and quiet, and though it may be a little hard to decipher exactly what he has autism, you still feel for the child the more your shown his relationship with his family. The father is repugnant and horrifying to watch. His character though not someone I can ever possibly convince myself to like or relate to also seems real. I admire the courage it takes to delve into a character like this, and his performance is very good as well.
Again, this story is not for the faint of heart. It’s a sad depiction of what it’s like for some families that cannot help and care for a child with mental disabilities. Caring for a disabled child is not something anyone can do, and with this dark tone we see how desperate people are willing to become to change their situation, and it’s both fascinating and hearts wrenching to behold. Using the police as the way for this child to die is also very timely given how often we see news reports of cops killing kids, and I think helps resonate more with audiences on the dangers of a trigger-happy police force.
If I had notes for this short, It would be more backstory in the father and sons relationship. I think that if there was more context as to the father’s motivations rather than just to fill his drug addiction, we could see a more rounded character. It’s a nitpick however perhaps if the runtime were extended to include a couple more moments with the father and son we might have a better backstory of their relationship. Overall, this is a technically and emotionally well-made film. It is a tough watch but if you get through it can be very rewarding as well. Director Nabil Nona puts it all on the line here, and his risks pay off in this short that I would recommend you see for yourself and form your own opinion on.