SHOT — Review by Martha K. Baker

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‘Shot’ sticks to clichés. Let’s say you never imagined the results of one gun shot on a community or a couple or a culprit. Let’s say you are woefully ignorant or willfully unlettered in the violent world around you. But, let’s say, you want to learn, to pick up just a skosh of information about the consequences of violence. Plus, you’re open to experimental film. Then, “Shot” is for you. Or for social studies classes of 6th graders for whom clichés are still fresh and discussable. For you and them, “Shot” works. Continue reading…

A couple, Mark and Phoebe, are breaking up, kind of like the couple in the beginning of the recently released film “Stronger.” Miguel, a bullied boy, falls for the seduction of a gun to get back at his antagonists. In examining this possibility, Miguel shoots the gun into Mark’s lung. Mark hits the ground, and Miguel hits the streets.

Director Jeremy Kagan records both male’s reactions in real time. He splits the screen to show the victim stunned and lying on the ground as his nearly divorced wife screams for 9-1-1. In the other half the screen, Miguel tries to get rid of the gun, to get help from his mother and his priest, and to shed his guilt. In the other half the screen, Mark is prepped for surgery after a ride in an ambulance, complete with singing.

Then, Kagan moves these three lives forward by five months to a climactic end. Kagan’s work goes all the way back to “Heroes” in 1977 and includes “The Chosen.” He has a point to make with “Shot” about the gun violence that kills 90 people a day in America.

The cast starts with Noah Wylie, very effective as Mark, and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Miguel, also seen recently in “Spiderman.” Malcolm-Jamal Warner plays an amusing EMT, and St. Louisan Sarah Clarke plays a doctor. “Shot” is not sophisticated, but it is truthful, which is, after all, the basis of most cliches.

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Martha K. Baker

Martha K. Baker

I first taught film at Lakeland College in Wisconsin in 1969 and became a professional film reviewer in 1976 in St. Louis, Mo. Through the years, I have reviewed films for the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Episcopal Life, and KWMU (NPR), among other outlets. I've reviewed at KDHX radio, my current outlet, for nearly 20 years.