For some reason, I was reminded of the new gritty James Bond. In particular, the grainy black and white of his first kill in the toilets in Casino Royale.
My suspicions would appear to be confirmed by one "Barbara Bricoli" in the credits [Producer] - outrageous coincidence that she just happens to sound like Barbara Broccoli who produces James Bond?
The plot seems very simple to me - this is what I think happens:
An assassin who has befriended his victim gets invited for a meeting at their apartment. He excuses himself on arrival after his long trip and heads for the toilet to prepare for what he must do (and it doesn't involve the usual things you do in a toilet!).
He leaves the toilet and has a major struggle with the victim, eventually resorting to shooting him (sounds like that was supposed to be a last resort anyway).
He returns to the bathroom in order to clean up, after which he ticks the necessary boxes on the assassination order that his superior has given him.
Then it really hits home what he's done and he can't bear the thought, attempting to shoot himself - unsuccessfully initially.
At the end, he puts the gun to his head once more and it's left open ended as to whether he went through with it ...
... or whether he becomes the suave cold secret agent we know and love today (hehe - kind of!!)
[JAZZX: made you feel it did he?
JACOB: .. yes ... ... considerably.]
More proof of nu-Bondishness:
the shirt looks bloodied up just like after the stairwell killings in Casino Royale - Jacob also throws off his tie in a very Daniel Craig manner
I'll even go way out on a limb with the James Bond analogy - JACOB begins with a J and ends with a B; like Jason Bourne was obviously a character name paying homage to the not-so-famous "Birds of the West Indies" author whom Ian Fleming stole the name from.
Having said all that, I'm probably completely wrong - but this film is delightfully open to interpretation (the open ending, unlike in some films, works well here). I mean - because most of it takes place off camera, this could just as well be the story:
He works for the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) - on inspecting the living conditions of a mal-nourished pet crocodile, he pulls out his gun in order to put the animal out of its misery but has to wrestle and subdue the owner first before doing his merciful duty. Clearly upset, and having lost all faith in human nature with the way we treat animals, he just can't bear it anymore.
After ticking the boxes "was the animal present?" & "was the animal put to sleep?" - he considers that his lifelong dedication to protecting animals is completely futile and worthless.
(I'm interested to know which is closer!)
For a one cut film, this was superbly acted - maybe a bit overdone in the attempted suicide scene, but there's no way I would get anywhere close to that in a full unedited 8 minutes of live acting (or even voice acting for that matter).
Such a simple premise - but the off-camera stuff makes it all too real. You get a sense of what it must be like to hear and watch static surveillance footage of a murder as a juror in a courtroom. Very disturbing.
One moment summed it up for me:
When the soap slips out of his hand as he tries to clean up, an event that might have the director shouting "cut!!" in a regular film, here the actor goes with it and it looks so horribly real as a result.
Very enjoyable in a voyeuristic macabre sort of way!»
JACOB-a short film
«Wow, the exact same thing happened to me, too! In fact, I did notice a video camera in my bathroom...
But seriously, this was done well. Simple and effective. And disturbing (as I'm sure it was meant to be).
And the million dollar question... Did he pull the trigger at the end?»
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