Lost Kings: A wonderful one-person performance by Dash Melrose

Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Many snacks in between. Yep, many of us are lucky enough to have plenty of food on the table. Sadly, not everyone is in that position. We’re remarkably reminded of that thanks to writer/director Brian Lawes (“Tempo”, “Home Again”) and his latest “Lost Kings”.

This short movie is about Zuri (Dash Melrose), a young boy living with his brother in a small house. It seems that they’re on their own as their parents aren’t present. Because of the lack of support, both emotionally and financially, life isn’t kind to the two boys. Even more so when Zuri finds out the ran out of food. The only way he can get his hands on food is by stealing it, so that’s what he will do. After having to deal with many unsuccessful attempts, Zuri breaks in into a neighbourhood home. It all seems to go fine. An easy way in and a lot of food present. However, the way out isn’t that easy when the homeowners return home…

This movie is already the fourth short movie of Lawes, and previous films were screened during high profile film festivals. They were also selected for the Oscar Qualifying festivals like Cleveland International Film Festival and Indy Shorts International Film Festival. At this moment, “Lost Kings” is making its way through the film festival circuit and will appear during film festivals such as Calgary International Film Festival, Edmonton International Film Festival, and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. If this short movie will receive the same praise, it would be well-deserved. Here’s why.

When the movie is nominated for many different awards, let’s hope Dash Melrose is included in an ‘upcoming actor’ category. His performance as Zuri is such a thrilling and emotional one. There’s almost no dialogue in this movie, and so he has to let the emotions speak for itself. Melrose knows how to do that. Thanks to his fascinating performance, we feel the Zuri’s fear and anxiety about being locked into the house.

The combination of the cinematography from Vincent Gonneville and Lawes’ editing gives a very enthralling vibe to this movie. We get close-ups to make sure that we see the Zuri’s emotions even more, thanks to which the captivating vibe rises, and there are also wide shots to make sure that the ‘will he being captured or not?’ feeling is heightened. The scenes are also kept very quiet and relatively long to show us the slow, quiet, and delicate escape plans from Zuri.

 After telling the romantic tale between a young girl and boy (“Rock Paper Scissor”), the emotional story of a boy who stopped talking (“Tempo”) and an estranged son reconnecting with his father and brother (“Home Again”), Lawes is now bringing another emotional, wonderfully performed and beautiful story to life.

Liselotte Vanophem, Just Celebrity Magazine

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