Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

Please Punish Me (Short)

Grade : A- Year : 2015 Director : Chris Esper Running Time : 13min Genre : ,
Movie review score

Scottie Lee (David Sackal) seems to have a good life in front of him. He’s about to get a big promotion at work. The problem is, he doesn’t feel like he does anything to deserve it. This odd way of life seems to be typical of him, as when we first see him, he tries to give a homeless woman some money, he hasn’t even left before the police arrive and arrest the woman, and give his money back. I don’t know whether you’d consider it karma or not, but it’s definitely peculiar. After talking with a co-worker when he’s hiding out at work, Scottie decides to go to this BDSM brothel for some punishment, shall we say. But the universe has a weird way of messing with Scottie, and he seems to find something more interesting when he meets his punisher, Michelle (Joanna Donofrio).

The story for “Please Punish Me” is by Tom Paolino, who wrote the original treatment, and Rich Camp, who wrote the screenplay, and it’s a delightfully clever piece of comedy with some moments of melancholy thrown in. As directed by Chris Esper, the film feels like a dark comedy, but it doesn’t really hit too dark of notes to qualify, because while Scottie does have some bad luck in his eyes, it’s hard to call what he’s going through unlucky. Most people would love to have his luck, but because he doesn’t see it that way, that’s where the comedic elements come into play. Esper captures just the right tone for the film, and has a good cast of actors to bring it home. I’d say that a film like this is punishment, but then I’d be letting Scottie’s outlook on life get the best of me. More films should be so pleasing.

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