Simon Says – Sick Day

FADE IN:

INT. EMILIO’S LIVING ROOM – EVENING

The room is furnished with couches and chairs that don’t match, and the walls are painted a sickly green. Wooden masks hang along the back wall, and a wooden man with a spear stands in the corner.

EMILIO is lying across a couch staring at the TV. He lifts a piece of toast to his mouth. Nibbling the corner, crumbs fall down his shirt. Emilio lowers the toast and looks up to the ceiling.

The SOUND of the front door opening interrupts him. He glances towards the hallway as he hears thuds in the doorway. SHAUNA enters followed by TOM and ROB.

SHAUNA: What’s this rumour that you’re sick?

Emilio looks at them then turns away and shrugs.

EMILIO: I’m sick.

Shauna pushes papers on the coffee table to the side and sits down.

SHAUNA: You don’t get sick. You can’t get sick.

Emilio sighs and turns to look at her. He glances over to Tom and Rob.

EMILIO: You guys going to stand there like idiots?

Tom and Rob glance at each other then move to a couch and sit down. Emilio shakes his head then turns back to Shauna.

EMILIO (CONT’D): It’s a simple plan. Even Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum over there could figure it out.

Tom jumps to his feet, but Rob grabs his arm. Tom looks down at him as Rob shakes his head. Tom lowers himself back to the couch.

TOM: You’re lucky my good sense saved you.

Emilio rolls his eyes.

SHAUNA: I don’t care how simple the instructions are. I don’t like having you bail in the homestretch.

Emilio sits up, grimacing at her.

EMILIO: You want me to throw up all over your take? I think you can manage a single job without me.

Shauna glances back to Tom and Rob. They shrug. Shauna exhales and turns back to Emilio.

SHAUNA: You’re that sick?

Emilio covers his mouth as he lets out a dramatic cough.

EMILIO: So ill.

Shauna places her hand on her head and massages her temple.

SHAUNA: I want half your take.

Emilio laughs, but it turns into a cough. Shauna remains straight-faced.

EMILIO: You serious?

Shauna nods.

EMILIO (CONT’D): Fifteen percent.

SHAUNA: Forty.

EMILIO: I can’t go any higher than twenty five.

SHAUNA: Thirty.

Emilio crosses his arms.

EMILIO: Maybe I should go and throw up all over your take.

SHAUNA: Thirty percent of your take, and you can get all the beauty sleep your little face requires.

Tom and Rob snicker. Emilio shoots them a look. Their expressions go blank.
EMILIO: Fine, but if anything goes wrong, it’s out of your take.

Shauna stands.

SHAUNA: Nothing will go wrong. It’s a simple plan.

Shauna walks towards the exit, gesturing for Tom and Rob to follow. They stand, and Emilio watches as they all leave. Once he hears the door shut, he picks up his phone and makes a phone call.

EMILIO: I think I just heard someone planning a robbery.

FADE TO BLACK.

Gallagher Says – Nightcrawler

I had heard good things about Nightcrawler around the time of its Academy Award nomination (for Best Original Screenplay). Its subject matter revolving around the broadcast industry made it somewhat popular among my follow students.

The story revolves around Louis Bloom played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Louis is unemployed and willing to do anything for a job. One night he stumbles upon an accident and is introduced to the world of freelance photography chasing crime scenes. Louis has a talent for it and begins to delve deeper into the wrong side of the law.

For the most part the film is a slow-burn thriller and character study of the type of people who film horrific images for a living. The opening of the film is lighter and has a little more humour, but this fades away as it falls into its creepier side.

The biggest thing holding the film together is the performances. Gyllenhaal does well in playing a focused and often creepy protagonist. The role suffers a little from being very straight-faced and monotone.

Rene Russo also holds her own alongside him as an equally eager news director with a similar love of the morbid. The standout role for me was Riz Ahmed as Rick, Louis assistant and navigator. Ahmed has the most grounded performance and is the character that allows the audience to connect with such a dark world.

My Favourites from the film: Ahmed’s performance was my personal favourite of the film. Louis setup for filming and his first shoots are fun and engaging. The finale works out very well and is quite thrilling.

My Less enjoyed parts of the film: I just have to say it was very slow. It’s two hours long, and one of those hours is purely building tension and moving the characters towards a somewhat expected outcome. The middle of the movie just really lost steam for me, and there’s a subplot where Louis is making romantic pursuits that I felt really went nowhere.

My Recommendation Not for casual moviegoers. If you are looking for an interesting character study with morality questions, this may be for you. It will also appeal to fans of dark thrillers, but be prepared for a slow plot.