“Please Mr. Postman look and see / If there’s a letter in your bag for me. / Why’s it takin’ such a long time / For me to hear from that boy of mine.”
In the case of Nick Moran’s postman, The Carpenters’ answer would probably be that the postie stole their letter or threw it in a bin. Fresh from his performance in Little Favour opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, released earlier this year, 82 is another short film that turns out to be a deceptively large package.
We join Moran on his route, as he swaggers up the pavement of a British town, rifling through envelopes and deciding what to pilfer. “Tempted to watch one,” he tells himself, as he feels up a packet of DVDs. “Why bother? Probably foreign shit.”
The bloke spits out his voiceover with glorious bile, a non-stop stream of amusingly foul consciousness. At the same time, he stamps on fragile gifts – “Just squeezes through the letterbox…” – and swears at old women who peer at him from behind net curtains. The Jolly Postman this ain’t.
Director Calum MacDiarmid walks alongside this intriguing character, flashing up glimpses of a dirty imagination and an even dirtier memory to force us to share his grim outlook on the harmless suburban street. That intensity is fuelled by the banal familiarity of the scenario: who hasn’t had an important letter delayed or a parcel not put through their front door? The simple juxtaposition drives up the tension, as the postie down the street, edging closer to the titular house number.
At which point Alexei Slater’s script reveals the really nasty content in his proverbial Royal Mail bag. As the daily routine escalates into something darker, 82 becomes a gleefully satisfying but disturbingly graphic tale of greed, community and never leaving your house empty. It’s no surprise that the film, which has screened at 60 odd film festivals, has picked up 15 awards. Climaxing with the clipped precision of letterbox snapping shut, this postman delivers one hell of a punch.
The short film 82 is now available to watch on iTunes for £1.99. It’s worth every penny.