A Corrupt Cop
I am always amazed how short films are able to do so much in a short amount of time. Chris Esper’s “Bent” is the story of a corrupt cop, Brenda Hoggins (Audrey Noone) who with who her partner, robs and kills a drug dealer. There is a lot going on in this film about bad cops that begins with Brenda and her partner robbing and killing a drug dealer. An Internal Affairs cop is not at all happy with this (who would be?) and goes after Brenda to pressure her to roll over on her partner.
The film looks at guilt and corruption as the viewer is taken into a world that should not be; the world of bad cops. Brenda is the focus and we see what real evil is and we see how it affects the human psyche. This is not a story we’ve seen before.
Earl Duke (Kris Salvi) is the IA cop and we see him lose it in the scene when he interrogates Brenda. I found it difficult to understand his excessive anger and perhaps that is because we know nothing abut him. I wish we had been given a back-story or that his character had been more developed.
Opposite him is a brilliant performance by Noone as Brenda. She carries the film and really walks away with it. Perhaps all of this film would have made more sense as a full-length drama. I am not saying that it does not makes sense as a short but it is easy to see how it could be developed into a feature film. Indeed, we see what brings someone to flip on his/her partner (something we are seeing on the presidential level right before our eyes right now in this country). “Bent” is a fascinating look at the world of cops that we do not usually get and that for that alone, it is worth seeing.