by Nav Qateel
When Joe, a highly-skilled con man, is brutally beaten to death, his subordinate Tom travels to Glasgow to seek out the con man's old pal, Rob. Young Tom tells Rob of a con that can make them both very rich, but in a world where trust is hard to come by, can Rob be sure he isn't the one being conned?
Writer-director R. Paul Wilson's micro-budget crime-thriller Con Men, is a slick, whip-smart affair that clearly demonstrates that independent filmmaking is alive and well in Scotland. Costing a mere $9000 to produce, Wilson explained that a majority of the budget went on keeping the cast and crew fed after they had given their time so generously.
Most will know Paul from the long-running BBC series The Real Hustle, in which he wrote, performed and acted as an adviser. And it was the filmmaker's expertise in various types of criminal activity that gave him the idea for Con Men. He further explained: "The main objective was to try and make a con movie that recognized that the audience would be trying to get ahead of the scam from the first frame and still maintain the mystery until the end but without cheating! It all had to make sense when it's over and it has to stand up to multiple viewings."
Paul Comrie plays Rob, a key figure and the head of the crew that we follow throughout the film. Comrie, an experienced and capable performer, also gets to demonstrate his range due to the fact that being a con man involves as much acting as it does being an actual criminal. Playing opposite Comrie as the novice con man is Tom Moriarty, a relativly inexperienced actor who managed to give a fairly consistant performance. In fact, unlike the majority of low-budget independant films I view, all the performances in Con Men were even and, more importantly, believable.
There were some amusing Glaswegian references that locals will be familiar with, and also a nod to a particular film that naming would give too much of the plot away. R. Paul Wilson's Con Men is the sort of small production that restores one's faith in independent filmmaking in the UK, with its passion and energy, you can't help but be entertained.
Not to be missed!Share: