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The Voorman Problem (2011) - Retro Review * 24 October 2016


In the latest of an occasional series, we take a look back at older productions starring the cast of Sherlock. Some will be familiar, some will be unexpected, but we hope our retrospective reviews will spur you to seek the production out!

The Voorman Problem (2011) is an intriguing, Oscar nominated prospect - a short film whose subject matter suggests a narrative of mystery and second guessing, but instead deals a hand and then instantly shows you those cards.  The film runs a brisk 12 minutes in duration but has plenty of time to tell the tale it intends, with Martin Freeman top billed as a psychiatrist called into a prison by the clearly frazzled governor to examine a patient who claims to be a god - with the other inmates all effectively worshipping him as such. The man in question claims not to specifically be any particular deity of any certain religion, but based on the actions of Tom Hollander here that distinction is possibly a very good thing. Puckishly witty, airily bored and potentially dangerous, he sets about confounding and toying with the straighter laced Martin Freeman as events rapidly unfold, all while bound in a straight jacket in a non-descript prison cell.

The film simply rattles along, veering tonally between chilly disquiet and ironic comedy, with a sting in the telling in the final moments. To delve too deeply is to risk spoilers that should be experienced for yourself, but the film makes some serious points about the state of the world today in an offhanded way, potentially provoking some heady and lingering musings about the nature of reality itself long after the credits have rolled. It's a little gem of a film that will happily fill a quarter of an hour.

The Voorman Problem is now available for purchase on We Are Colony, the new global digital distribution platform for films.