Director: Louis John Brzozka
Cast: Louis John Brzozka
Plot: A family man (Brzozka) scours his attic and finds an old memento from a past generation.
To My Dear Son does little you don’t expect it to. The title gives away the plot and the plot is so honest and straight-forward, it hides little from the audience. Louis John Brzozka plays a loving father, who rushes up to the attic to fetch a blanket for his son. In rooting through the attic, he finds a forgotten letter, To My Dear Son, fondly scrawled on the envelope, written by his grandfather to his father. The letter contains life lessons the grandfather passes onto his son, morals, values and truths. As Louis John Brzozka reads the heart-warming message on the paper, we cut to the grandfather writing it, hunched bravely over a typewriter, as he realises his death is imminent during wartime England. The letter does not reveal a dark secret, there is no hidden affair or a map that leads to hidden treasure. It is honest and to the point, this short film focusing on character, rather than narrative. Yet it captivates. To My Dear Son reflects the solidity of family values and strengths the core of what makes that father to son bond. You are right there with Louis John Brzozka as he reads this letter, in awe of the raw emotion coming from the upper class soldier, deciding what closing impact he wants to make on this world, and his own son. It is beautiful, well-written and does everything you need it to.
However, what it does do really well is show the world what Louis John Brzozka is capable of. This short sees Louis direct and star as both generations of the family. It works as a neat, five minute show-reel for all of Louis John Brzozka’s talents. The two performances show the range the actor has. Morally, the grandfather and grandson are similar, but Louis reflects the same personality through the culture of each era. As the short snaps back and forth between each role, we notice the change in posture, accent, the way the emotion subconsciously slips through the eyes… Louis despite balancing the entire short on his shoulders, masterfully conveys his story, never missing a beat. It’s not just the acting, but the directing as well. The cinematography makes the most of the small set. The opening shot of the light slipping through the attic builds intrigue where we could argue there is none. The black backdrop of the past scenes speaks tenfold, what an actual set would do. It begs questions, as well as highlighting the mirror image of the final shot, when the grandson sits down to write his own son a similar message. All in all, this is Louis John Brzozka’s show and it feels like a playground for the actor/director to explore what he is capable of. The answer: capable of a bloody lot!
Final Verdict: A heart-warming simple story that works well as a statement that Louis John Brzozka is a name to watch.
To My Dear Son is available free on Youtube.