SXSW 2017: Two Pigeons
A dark comedy about being tormented by the houseguest from hell, Two Pigeons is a karmic rendering of a dire scenario most would never want to be subjected to.
Mim Sheikh plays Hussein, a young estate agent who makes his living out of getting the best deals, even if they impact his clients negatively. One of these people, Orlan (Javier Botet) has had his whole life gone down the drain due to Hussein's schemes, and as a form of revenge, sneaks into his flat undetected and begins squatting there, hidden in plain sight, while also slowly dismantling Hussein's life bit by bit.
We see Orlan mess with Hussein's love life, causing his girlfriend (Mandeep Dhillon) to walk out on him, then later causes him to lose his job as well, and eventually turn his flat into a desolate environment ruled by a deeply depressed person. While billed as a dark horror comedy on the onset, there's very few laughs, if any, and all joking seems to stop within the last 30 or so minutes where you can't help but feel pity for Hussein even if he may have been a shitty person before the events of the film. And while there's certainly a creep factor to be found in Botet's performance, it never manages to get to being as scary as the writer-director wants it to be.
Two Pigeons has the kind of concept that would work great for a 15 minute short film; unfortunately this debut feature from Dominic Bridges is over five times that length, and it's easy to get disinterested by the languid pacing. There aren't any twists in Orlan's objective, whether they be deliberate or unintended. And it seems to take forever to get to its predictable culmination; one is likely to experience some form of restlessness in being trapped within this one-location environment, where there's only one real outcome to be had.
I can't really recommend Two Pigeons, it's a decent attempt at a first feature but doesn't really work the way it should. Too basic and repetitive in its construction, and not offering any real substance or surprises, it's something that viewers would be better served to completely pass on watching.