Special Review: My Kingdom
The King (Luke Kidd) reprimands his most trusted and loyal Nobleman (Ritchi Edwards) after a near-disastrous event. Issues of loyalty and trust are brought up between the two, leading to an unspeakable decision.
A feature length film has the luxury of telling a fully-flushed story where we get to see a beginning, middle, and end to a tale being told on screen. That luxury isn't afforded to short films, where a filmmaker has a very limited amount of time to tell a compelling, gripping story. Yet, that's exactly what Luke Kidd managed to do with his short film "My Kingdom," a tale that, despite lacking a beginning or ending, manages to tell a compelling story nonetheless. A story that is so perfectly written, performed, and executed, that we as the audience desire to see the events that led up to the confrontation, and the fallout afterward.
Not only did Luke Kidd direct this short film, but he also starred as the King, a noble man who wants to do what is right for his people, something his father seemingly didn't care too much about. His father appeared to rule with an iron fist, keeping the people in captivity, until this new King set them free. Sometime after this happened, the kingdom seemed to have been under attack, resulting in the near death of the Queen. This is the setup for the confrontation between the King and his Nobleman, a man that the King trusted more than anyone.
The Nobleman - brilliantly played by actor Ritchi Edwards - seems to be a man with the same high moral values as his King, but it seems that, in the King's eyes at least, he made a decision that could've resulted in the Queen's death. The Nobleman shows genuine remorse for his actions, even if he felt that they were done for the good of the King and the people, but what this short film also shows is that with all decisions, there are dire consequences.
We see the pain in the King as he enacts his sentence on his most loyal friend, and the agony that the Nobleman feels for receiving such a harsh sentence. To this end, they create a continuation that we are dying to see, how this sentence will affect both men going forward, and the repercussions of them. If this was a short film with lesser actors, we wouldn't care for the plight of these men, but since it was so brilliantly acted, we can't help but wonder what fates will befall them.
Cinematographer Charlie Wharton blends the light and shadow in such a way that it gives off "Game of Thrones" vibes, which helps add to the depth of story being told, and the editing is top notch for such a small endeavor. The music - supplied by Kyle McCuiston - only increases the tension between the two men. Finally, the setting - shot at the majestic Hedingham Castle - and costume designs (from Chameleon Costumes) are the icing on the cake for this short film period piece, filled with tension and heightened emotions told through two accomplished actors in a very short period of time.
A short film has to tell a compelling story in a shortened period of time, and Luke Kidd's "My Kingdom" managed to do that in such a way that makes the audience wish to see the previous chapter and what lies ahead for these two men, due to strong performances and a solid script.
The Score: A+
You can see this short film here: