Short Movie Review – Fifty Minutes

Fifty Minutes is a short drama directed by Paul Schneider, about a therapy session, set in the confines of one office and focuses on the dialogue between patient and therapist. In this case, Dr Louis Bell (Stephen Tobolowsky) and Martin Potter (DJ Qualls).

It begins like any therapy session: calm, quiet and beautifully awkward.

But the tables turn when Potter pulls a gun on Dr Bell and promises to shoot him in exactly 46 minutes.

Having a therapy session at gun point sure amps up the tension. And the clock, as they say, is ticking.

Dr Bell, even though at gun point, still tries to diagnose Martin, and eventually uncovers Mr Potter’s unhealthy obsession with a beautiful woman by the name of Katy Cook.  Turns out Martin blames Dr Bell, her supposed therapist, for her death.

But is Martin Potter as sane as he thinks?

Is Dr Bell as innocent and well-meaning as he claims?

As an audience, we never find out the answer but must draw our own conclusions.  And it’s not an easy one to decide.

At one point, Dr Bell describes their postcodes as ‘[sounding] identical but at opposite ends of the city’.  Clearly, these two are different sides of the same coin- which sides they’re on we’ll never know, but it’s an interesting take on how nobody is who they appear to be, not even the professionals.

There is an impressive emphasis on character, acting and story in this film. And all are driven by dialogue.

It contains no tricks or fancy cinematic gimmicks, it’s just a simple story tell told; a prime example of when cast and crew come together in harmony.