Review Fix 2012 Tribeca Film Festival Coverage: Donkey Review: Revenge Done Right

From the description online, you’d expect the ending of Keir Burrows’ “Donkey” to play out like a literal bloody mess, but it never comes. You wait for something brutal, to make this supposed revenge story become cliché or average, but that doesn’t happen either.

Like a miniature version of “American Psycho” or even the more recent “Shame,” this film is a journey inside a narcissist’s mind, but unlike the aforementioned pictures, there’s no sex, drugs or blood.

Don’t worry hedonists, you’ll get a different kind of fix here. Visually, the film is stunning. The style of shooting, with a near myriad of quick shots, balanced beautifully with long and wide ones and up-close facial pans, depict a person looking for something. Someone ends up finding something here alright. The adventure to find out who it is makes this picture a joy to uncover.

The fact that the film is pure narration and in grayscale also adds a beauty and seductive storytelling element. Even in a few minutes, sitting through this short is like unwrapping a present.

But the ultimate reason for the success of this film is the believability of the main character. That has everything to do with the performance of James Farrar. Everyone knows someone like this character. Everyone knows someone who talks about how much money they make, the women they’ve been with, but when at the end of the day, they’ve got squat. The journey into this character’s mind, where he confronts his disgusting attitude towards life- it’s never self-analyzed until the end. But when he finally realizes his mistakes in life, that’s the wow moment that makes this film special.

This film, in its own way, not only makes you think about yourself and the relationships, even the minute ones, you’ve cultured over the years, it’s a firm and nearly flawless representation of what short film should be.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 12524 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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