Ready to Go (2017)

Lance is preparing to do the hardest thing there is for a pet parent. As he brings his cat to the vet, he talks through a lot of emotions and gets his feelings figured out.

Director Lynda Reiss and writer John Craine create a short look into the emotional journey a pet parent goes through when it’s time to let them go. Together, Reiss and Craine’s work creates a careful exploration of feelings of loss, sadness, and impending loneliness that come with putting a pet down. The short film format used here is perfect for a concise and honest exploration of the subject, giving it just enough time to dig into the emotionality of the decision without becoming too heavy. The lead character here is used to represent anyone who ever had to make this hard decision, giving a realist representation of some of the feelings associated with pet euthanasia.

Playing that lead character of Lance is actor Kevin Doyle who does emotionally touching yet restrained work. His acting here is natural, sad with a clear grief coming on, decided yet resigned. He brings nuances to a difficult time for his character, showing that he cares but knows he has to do this. His character’s interactions with others before and after hit the mark pulling an emotional response from the viewer. His presence in all the scenes makes it so that his performance sets the tone for the entire movie, something he proves himself more than capable of.

Ready To Go has an oddly cheery look to itself with colorful decors and scenes. The art direction by Richard Fryer pays high attention to details here, creating a rich work for the story to take place in. The cinematography by John Craine shows things head-on, never shying away from Lance and his sadness. This leads to a honest and fascinating look. Here the camera stays in the lead, keeping him centered at almost all times, highlighting how important he is and helping give visual cues with having him less centered while talking to a woman and back kin the center when he is lonely. This visual representation pushes the film just past the edge of simply touching, bringing it closer to home for the viewer.

Ready To Go is an effective, touching, and melancholy short about preparing and learning to let go, about the sadness and loneliness that comes with losing a pet. The film explores this subject as well as grief and how people cope through almost happy images with a s superb lead performance by Kevin Doyle and careful cinematography by John Craine. The simple setting and subject is explored in a deep, touching, and emotionally connecting way.