THE CODE // Tariq Nasir
The Code is a British thriller by Tariq Nasir following Derek, a brash and naïve pizza boy, as he is abducted for the purpose of saving the world – via vigorous (or not so) sex and vaccination! The opening scene defines the direction of the plot where our hesitant hero is forewarned of his customer. Be careful, she’s “mental or something”.
Instantly Patricia, his customer, is painted as a women created by Hitchcock – confident and mysteriously deceptive. Patricia’s agenda to seduce Derek is a succinct task; him being a young “bloke” who doesn’t refuse her somewhat subtle signals. Whether Derek can handle it or not, he is unwittingly involved in a battle of sabotage against the government, corrupt governmental forces seeming to be the underlying theme. They are freedom fighters for the people. Very righteous, man. No sarcasm intended.
The majority of the film does seem to pivot on the two “getting it on” repeatedly, casting Patricia with a fugitive-on-the-run persona. In a society gripped by the fear of deathly viruses, frequently seen inside and outside of the film industry, this spin was fairly refreshing. The Code flips the disaster genre on its head, shifting the focus away from uncontrollable disease and mass death. This is a strong idea that would easily transcend into a feature film with a little tweaking and character development.
Protagonist Derek played by Max Calandrew did a convincing job capturing the arrogance of a 19 year old boy with no worries in his life…before he delivered Patricia’s pizza anyway. Rachael Henley has a magnetic presence playing the hard hitting, head-strong Patricia; she had a slight air of Emma Watson about her.
Overall, it is well performed and it had me hooked for the entire 11mins, even if the promiscuity was tedious. Writer Jamil Nasir (the director’s brother) wrote a sturdy script with strong dialogue and flowing scenes. DOP Phil Moreton did a splendid job of making the city look clean and polished, even with the inclusion of a tramp. With a budget of £6,000 they managed it proficiently and the film definitely had cinematic quality.
The Code was an official selection at the London Independent Film Festival 2013 and was recently shown at the short film corner at Cannes Film Festival 2013.