I often wonder why people bother to make short films. It may be a good way to get started in filmmaking without breaking the bank but it must be frustrating to know that feature length movies are always going to outshine you.
This is a shame because it means that films like I Know You Know often fall by the wayside. Clocking in at 78 minutes, it has the charm of a short and none of a feature length’s self-importance.
Set in South Wales circa 1988, Robert Carlyle is Charlie, a charismatic travel agent. He’s got big plans, friends in high places and he just happens to be a spy on a dangerous mission. Or so his son Jamie thinks.
Things take a turn for the worse when Charlie involves Jamie on his latest job: taking down the new satellite TV service Astrosat. Charlie’s convinced they’re setting up a mind control signal and it’s up to him to stop it, promising to take Jamie to America when it’s all over.
When things don’t add up and Charlie starts behaving erratically, Jamie becomes suspicious of his father’s dealings and tries to separate the truth from the lies.
Robert Carlyle puts in a convincing performance as Charlie, the paranoid spy who’s hero worshipped almost to a fault by Jamie. Their relationship comes from Jamie’s POV and it has the kind of childish fairytale coating that children paint over things with.
Newcomer Arron Fuller impresses in his first role as Jamie. He plays the part with great emotion but lacks the vulnerability that a child in Jamie’s position would undoubtedly have. As the truth of the story unravels, Arron shoulders much of the action and he’s clearly able to handle the responsibility, showing that there could be a nice little acting career in his future.
It’s an enjoyable story based on writer/director Justin Kerrigan’s own childhood but it might have done better as a TV movie where a wider audience can appreciate it’s subtleties.