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[SXSW '21] 'Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break' review: Clever film about the cost of cruelty

Movie Reviews

[SXSW ’21] ‘Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break’ review: Clever film about the cost of cruelty

A story about kindness and murder

It’s not easy to pull off a funny light hearted film about bloodlust and grief, but Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break pulls it off. Nick Gillespie directs this South By Southwest premiere about a man who encounters several setbacks on his way to a talent show audition. At the end of his rope, Paul Dood’s only recourse is vengeance. Written by Gillespie and Brook Driver, Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a heart warming story about kindness and murder. 

Paul Dood has been waiting for the talent show competition. He has been posting audition videos for all his followers on Trend Latter, a social media account. Not wanting to disappoint his fans or supportive mother, he begins an action packed race to the auditions only to be derailed by rude and inconsiderate people he meets along the way. After suffering a tremendous setback, the good natured and patient Paul Dood snaps. 

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Gillespie and Driver deliver an original story in their screenplay. It would be easy for a story like this to veer towards the dark side, but this black comedy keeps it light with a cast of oddball characters. Tom Meeten stars as Paul Dood, who gives an emotional performance that makes the viewer root for him on his lethal mission. June Watson, Alice Lowe, and Katherine Parkison also star in this film and add to the comedy and heart of this film. 

A clever script provides depth and nuance to tell a story of acceptance and perseverance. Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is currently playing this year’s South by Southwest Festival.

SXSW is March 16 – March 20. Tickets and a full lineup can be found here.

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