Charlie dies and wakes up on TV. Isn’t that an irony? To find out the show goes on television after death? In Oliver Ryder’s short comedy ‘See You In Hell‘ purgatory looks like the broadcast quiz game on Saturday night (or whenever they run it). The stake is Charlie’s soul: should he be able to answer the tricky questions of an ethical substrate so Charlie can find redemption? Otherwise hell is waiting for him.
Director Oliver Ryder makes a satire. Charlie may not feel like a saint but neither is he a bad guy. However, this is apparently not enough to send you to heavens after you die – ‘not being a bad guy’ we mean. It is demanded from one to prove themselves they deserve to enter paradise before they do. But what if Purgatory is just another ‘populated’ realm with its own rules where the versed and the knowledgeable have learned to manipulate the situation to their own advantage? Justice remains an obscure concept. It is rather the ability to refer to trickery that can save your soul. Will you be able to turn the situation around to your benefit when the time comes? Is Charlie going to find redemption?
‘See You In Hell’ is not just a tasty, entertaining comedy but it can also be regarded as a satire about the ‘corrupt’ order of the world nowadays. Oliver Ryder doesn’t express it directly but it’s there, a sense coming from the guts and cast by instinct in the film, hovering in the air and enforcing the atmosphere. It is not the Truth that will set Charlie free but his skill to abide by the rules of the show and generate entertainment. It is what happens in nowadays society too: it is the sensational prevailing over truth, the firmness of our actions prevailing over tolerance and kindness that can bring justice and not the system protecting the just (see Charlie spinning the wheel by making use of the show host’s hand resting on its handle) and it’s the good that is becoming a rather relative issue – it is better for ‘not a bad guy’ to ‘run a show’ in Purgatory than to burn in hell.
‘See You In Hell’ has been awarded the 1st Prize for Best Short Film Of February 2017 by TMFF for its savoury way of satirising the ‘contemporary ethical order’.