This gripping drama shows that even during “the most wonderful time of the year,” some relationships cannot be reconciled.
For many households, the holiday season is a special time where family members get together to celebrate their bonds. Familial traditions and festive merrymakings are part of what make Christmas so special to so many people. It is a day for cherishing loved ones and showing affection to those closest to you. However, while most people find comfort in their families, others do not have such fondness for their relatives.
He Could’ve Gone Pro is a short film, written and directed by McGhee Monteith, who also plays the main character. With a runtime of around thirteen minutes, this drama has earned several awards, including the inaugural Memphis Film Prize, the Best Screenplay Award at the El Dorado Film Festival, and the Audience Favorite Award at the Outflix Film Festival. With phenomenal performances and a story that will hit close to home for many viewers, He Could’ve Gone Pro exposes a darker aspect of the holidays.
When Debbie (Monteith) is in dire need of money, she and her significant other, Lamar (Stephen Garrett) decide to spend Christmas with her estranged mother, Gayle (Cecelia Wingate). While the seemingly caring elderly woman is happy to see her daughter, there remains a palpable tension between the two of them, until a tragedy that the family had kept hidden is finally revealed.
Monteith proves herself to be a true triple threat with He Could’ve Gone Pro. The story in this short film is engaging and suspenseful. The build-up to the dramatic climax is expertly done, with subtle yet noticeable hints as to what caused the family to fracture. Also, without spoiling anything, the ending is deeply poignant. It is sure to get plenty of viewers teary-eyed, as it relates to an issue that affects many people. Aesthetically, the short is extraordinarily shot. The angles and imagery accent all the right details and create a hospitable yet edgy atmosphere. Lastly, the acting in He Could’ve Gone Pro is simply outstanding. Monteith and Wingate give delightfully passionate portrayals of their characters, fleshing out the rocky mother-daughter relationship beautifully. Such an emotionally charged story requires its performers to be nothing less than top notch. Luckily, these actresses were more than capable, as they seem completely believable in their roles. These may be performances that are worthy of a Hollywood picture.
He Could’ve Gone Pro is an absolutely fantastic drama that knows how to get its audience invested in its story. Thanks to its terrific cast, its engrossing script, and its clever cinematography, it is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. McGhee Monteith proves that she can be a real auteur, managing to excel on three fronts of filmmaking. If you want to watch a short film that grips you in all of the best ways, you will love He Could’ve Gone Pro.