2SSFA - 'Hiding Under Covers' by Michael Davies


Tension hangs as a bloody-faced mafia boss cruelly lectures his victims before they face the final blow. The film cleverly hinges on that bloodied face as a visual hook to lure the audience into the dark minds of the 2 protagonists. It goes back in time with a flashback on how the 2 men ended up at the mafia’s mercy. All three men, the protagonists and the boss were in a room when news surfaced that police were on their way to raid their hideout. The two men then began a mutual ‘outing’ of each other, which seemed somewhat clumsily delivered by the actors.

Thankfully, the crisp editing and storytelling brought the pace up and the boss was accidentally shot. Hence, the bloodied face, which also inevitably makes the audience predict that he is not actually dead for the first scene to have happened. But for that moment, the 2 men (who later confessed they were the police) panicked over how the body was to hidden. While keeping up the tension the director kept some room for a Freudian, humourous dig at the Indian sensibility of chopping up the dead body and cooking it in curry!

The actor who played the boss was a solid anchor who gave gravitas to the otherwise sparse set. There were only 2 bodyguards but it felt like there were more, somehow ambushed in the darkness. The masterful play on lighting and framing also helped accentuate the best of what little the film was resting on.

The film completes a loop by going back to the starting point where the hooded victims were about to be shot but yet delightfully, thwarts our assumed understanding in a completely different direction. Makes you realize that there is such a thing a gangsta-flick sensibility, those who have it know what the audience already expects and surprises us at the right moments. Those who don’t, basically drag us through he film spending half the time explaining it.

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