Shot (2017)

A couple on the verge of divorce goes to lunch, on their way out, a random bullet hits the husband and wounds him badly. As he attempts to survive and re-adapt, the teen who shot him by accident tries the same.

Written by Anneke Campbell and Will Lamborn from a story by director Jeremy Kagan, Shot is a story that shows the danger of having guns on the streets and aims to encourage discussion about gun access and gun violence. The film here shows how an accidental gunshot can drastically change 3 lives in just a split second. This is done by telling both the story of the victim and his wife and the story of the teen who shot the gun. The film tackles both at the same in time in two different styles, part of the film showing their stories at the same time, with a split screen, and part of the film going back and forth between the two stories. This creates an interesting dynamic and causes a bit of an emotional overload at times which helps the film here as it shows the chaos caused by the situation.

Acting in this story, are Noah Wyle as Mark Newman, the shooting victim, Sharon Leal as his wife Phoebe, and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Miguel in the leads. They each give strong performances with Wyle grabbing most of the attention and keeping it throughout. His performance shows that he has range and talent. Leal plays a character very conflicted and does so with nuances that sell her as this character and make her convincing and touching. Her character is the grounding character in a way as she is not the victim or the shooter but represent most people who have been victim of indirect pain. Her trauma is real and she shows very real emotions that bring the film into reality. Her performance outshines the two leads at times and shows that she has a natural talent for touching nuances characters.

The film cinematography by Jacek Laskus paired with the editing by Norman Hollyn give the film its particular look and help create the feel of it with images that work together with the story. The images and how they are edited together help show the effects of a shooting on everyone involved in a more blunt way which is needed at times to give the film the impact it needs to have. This works great and does heighten the effect it has on the viewer.

Shot is a film with one single instance of gun violence but the way it is done and edited shows the full effect of this one gunshot on multiple people, something that works quite well towards showing the general impact of gun violence. Of course, this is but one example and it is dramatized in movie form, but it works. This film is not meant to shock or gross out, but to make the viewer think. This is does achieve. However, it may only affect people who already think the same way as the filmmakers and may not affect many in the opposing camp. That being said, it’s an effective film with plenty of talent behind and in front of the camera.