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Angel of Anywhere (2017) Short Film Review

Compelling short film about a mysterious fixer working at a strip club.

Angel of Anywhere is a 2017 short film about an empathetic stripper who plays therapist to the many damaged clientele and co-workers who frequent the popular Anywhere Bar.

There’s quite a bit of symbolism tucked inside the short runtime of James Kicklighter‘s latest film Angel of Anywhere, a 16-minute, well-made short that hides a greater message about human relationships behind the skin of an all-male strip club. While the setting isn’t exactly a new one of course, it’s far less about the stage show or even the relationships of the dancers, but rather the impact of one man who serves importance in ways even he’s not entirely aware of.

Angel (Axel Roldos) is a fixer, though not quite in the literal sense. His job is to remove his clothes and dance for the crowds, earning tips for his looks, but he’s got a way about him that sees him keeping things on the mend. That starts with a flickering light bulb outside the club, the first clear indicator that he has a touch that seems to return things to their brightest state. That it is perpetually in need of his touch though suggests that while he can help, it is temporary. That power extends to his private dances where he encounters paying customers, both female and male, who lean on him to expose their heavier sides, Angel becoming a sort of dancing therapist. But some secrets have consequences.

Angel of Anywhere
Angel of Anywhere, 2017 © JamesWorks Entertainment

Angel is an interesting character, a clean cut all-American young man who avoids the closer temptations the job offers, such as drugs, his role as a confessional something he seems almost inherently proud of. He keeps the club running as well, in some ways, constantly fixing the speakers for the DJ, and we see a pattern that reveals he is far more than just a slab of chiseled meat on stage. But to what end?

It’s important to pay attention to these details in Kicklighter’s movie, written by Kate Murdoch and Casey Nelson, as nothing is not connected, every action tied to the next and ultimately to a twist ending. Things might seem superfluous and have potential to be disregarded as filler, but that is missing the larger point of who and what Angel is and what the end reveals about his fate. It’s smart and it’s challenging. Any film that forces questions like this are worth a closer look.

And that’s probably what you might find yourself doing if you have the opportunity to watch. A second time around, knowing where it’s going, offers a different direction about Angel’s purpose. That is best seen in Angel’s face as the film comes to a close, an expression or situation I won’t reveal, but one that speaks to much about what we as an audience ought to consider. I am still thinking of the answers.

Angel of Anywhere (2017) Short Film Review

Movie description: Angel of Anywhere is a 2017 short film about an empathetic stripper who plays therapist to the many damaged clientele and co-workers who frequent the popular Anywhere Bar.

Director(s): James Kicklighter

Actor(s): Briana Evigan, Ser'Darius Blain, Axel Roldos

Genre: Drama, Short

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