Directed by: Triden V Balasingam
Written by: Keith Glower
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An angry man starts on a path for revenge. Revenge against those he hates, revenge against those who caused his pain, and revenge against the world. His home, his family, his very life has been destroyed by the American army and he wants vengeance. So, the man goes about plotting just what he should do. How big a mark he wishes to leave. But how big is enough to compensate for his loss? Total carnage is the answer. To reduce those he hates to nothing but fear, and their cities to cement and rubble. He builds his bomb and all that's left is to place it somewhere, to start his rampage.
Along the way, he meets a stranger in the subway. A stranger that despite being one of "them" the man feels some sort of connection with. Indeed the two do sort of have something in common, and through a seemingly polite, casual conversation, this stranger gets to the would-be bomber. Is his pain so great that he has the right to cause the same pain to countless others? Should the innocent suffer for the actions of so few - or should everybody pay as a tribute to his anger. There is a decision to be made, but what will the final outcome be?
Although there's no question this is a micro budget title, what makes this short film stay above water is the message of hope it presents. In under 10 minutes, Toaster manages to set itself up, get the story flowing, and reveal its ultimate message. Keith Glower manages to pen a script that keeps things grim, but has no problem dropping that huge chunk of inspiration at the ending. And director Triden V Balasingam manages to uphold the vision, and story with some tight visuals and a good eye for detail. It's not always hard to pick out some of the stock footage from the filmed material, but it all still holds up quite well.
Also worth mentioning is the great animatic during the final act. It wraps things up nicely and shows the audience the details of what they already suspect. Sadly, there is a spelling mistake during this sequence, within the subtitles. A misuse of the word, "Their."
Although not perfect, Toaster has no problem getting out into the world what it wants to say. That message? One of hope. A message confirming that no matter how bad things get, no matter how bad people get, there is still good in the world. There is innocence and light at the end of the tunnel. Pain can make us who we are, but so can forgiveness, acceptance, and accountability for those that deserve it, not everyone else. It's a good message and in truth, Toaster is a good independent film. The next giant blockbuster may not be here, but it doesn't need to be to get the message across. Thank you for reading.