Directed by: Elmer J. Howard
Written by: Melissa Martin
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Kings & Queens
A young woman, Lucy, is job hunting and looking to get back on her feet. She's currently staying with her ex-girlfriend Harper, and although things are not as bad as they could be, she really needs to get her life in gear. The job hunt has brought Lucy into a local bar, and although she has no bartending experience, the owner decides to give Lucy a shot. Eight o'clock rolls around, Lucy finds herself just as interested in the happenings on stage, as she does her job. The bar hosts a drag night, and almost immediately, Lucy is enamored.
She gets the job. Nikki, her boss, sees lots of potential, and now, Lucy is quite excited. Harper seems to have her doubts and is worried about Lucy's future, but that's understandable. Through her experience at the bar, Lucy begins looking within herself, trying to find her own stage persona... her inner drag king. With a little help from some new friends, she starts her journey, but her home life with Harper takes a turn. Changes can be hard on anyone, and that fact is demonstrated nicely in this short film.
The story as penned by Melissa Martin is not a unique one within the film world, but Kings & Queens is by no means a carbon copy of another film. The story is relatable enough to strike a nerve, and the dialog is natural. Elmer J. Howard has a knack for getting some excellent performances from his talented group of actors, and Kings & Queens feels much shorter than it actually is. The shots are handled nicely, the audio is good, and even the pacing feels sharp and professional. There's a lot to like about this short film.
As stated above, the performances are pretty solid, which is always a pleasure to see in the independent film community. Emily Kokidko as Lucy is more than believable, as are the other supporting cast members. But what I really enjoyed were the bits of background we get from the characters. Their stories are not front and center, but are present for those paying attention. Little bits that add a world of depth. It's clear that a lot of love went into this short title, and it comes through one hundred percent.
Kings & Queens is a great short film that is elevated even more by its micro-budget status. It's always refreshing to get an indie, micro title that isn't all cell phone video or found footage. The story may not be one hundred percent unique... but what story is? I enjoyed this short film, and that about sums things up. Thank you for reading and if you are interested in connecting with this short film, links are to your left. 3.5 / 5 stars.