HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Local independent filmmaker Hilliard Guess recently wrote, directed and executive produced an amazing short film, which has an exciting beginning, plays very smoothly and ends in a stunning and shocking twist. “Troublesome” stars acclaimed actor Gordon Thomson, who is best known for his work as the evil Adam Carrington on Aaron Spelling’s hit primetime drama “Dynasty” and smoldering L.A. native Kareem Grimes. Thomson portrays Dr. Ross, in this brilliantly depicted and artfully photographed film. Thomson was the perfect choice for the role, as his career has spanned 45 years, beginning in his homeland of Canada.
Thomson plays Dr. Ross and Grimes plays Kritikal, a patient who is fighting a truth about himself and has no choice but to come out when he’s placed in a situation where his therapy session is eclipsed by his current circumstances. The high-paced therapy session on the broken down subway forces Kritikal to take a serious look at his true identity, and what he confesses to his therapist is shocking and poignant. The broken-down subway deep below the L.A. streets is a set up by Dr. Ross, whose decision to place himself and his emotionally unhinged patient in a claustrophobic situation, to make him sweat and peel off the layers that he’s hidden so well over his lifetime.
Kritikal has been hiding a secret, not just from his fans, but himself. The famous rap star has placed himself in the odd position in which all stars eventually find themselves, fighting who they really are and desperately trying to pass off their public persona as who they really are. That may work for a while, but as this film brilliantly portrays, who you are eventually must come out, if only to oneself.
Dr. Ross is both cool and unassuming. Using science to explain why he’s so calm during the crisis, which proves to be his ultimate plan. As the oxygen is draining from the subway car, the lights are dimmed, an almost horror-type screen image is conveyed to the viewer. Though this doctor/patient coupling is a lot more exciting than the ’80s version of the Academy award-winning drama “Silence of the Lambs” with Dr. Lector and FBI agent Clarice Starling.
Thomson seems in control, but it’s sometimes an act. He never seems to fear his situation, being placed in a closed space with a patient who would literally kill to keep his secret from the world. That secret eventually is revealed to the viewer in due time. However, what is also revealed to the viewer is the exceptional writing of the screenplay, the superb acting by Thomson and Grimes, the brilliant cinematography, which is perfect for this film and the pace of the story.
Viewers of this multi-award winning short film do not feel cheated when the story ends. The payoff is greater than anyone can imagine. Though, don’t watch this film without realizing that you will be forced to ask yourself all kinds of questions when the lights come on at the end of the film. Hilliard Guess is certainly one of Hollywood’s truly gifted filmmakers, who has so many great creative gifts yet to be revealed.
“Troublesome” receives Five and a half of Five Stars from this reviewer. Find a showing near you by going to hilldogproductions.com/troublesome.htm.
Photographs Courtesy HillDog Productions