Surprisingly for a man who spends a large majority of his time writing, I’ve never been a man of many words. Growing-up my nickname for a while was Silent Bob (along with Spanish Bob & Liability Bob – but that’s another story), so in the hugely unlikely event that I found myself in the situation of the protagonist of Andrew Chaplin’s 1500 Words (who has a limited word count before his time is up), I’d probably view it as an extension period, instead of the death sentence it is.
The tale of a man who is told he has only 1500 words left to live, Chaplin’s film feels like one which could go in one of two directions – pull on the heart strings or tickle the funny bones – but in actuality, it sits somewhere in-between. Blending dark humour with moments of real tenderness, 1500 Words may well spend a lot of its time attempting to make you chuckle, but what truly resonates and leaves its mark, is its underlying emotive core.
Driven by a deadpan voiceover from the brilliant Michael Smiley and some strong on-screen performances, take into consideration the excellent concept at the heart of 1500 Words and Chaplin’s film feels like one that just couldn’t fail. It’s charming, it’s funny, it’s heartbreaking – what more could you want?
Since touring festival with 1500 Words, Chaplin has gone on to make the excellent 5-part sitcom Witless for the BBC.