Tribeca 2022: Chicken

Directed by: Josh Leong
Distributed by: TBA

Written by Alexander Reams


Short films often feel the need to pack a larger punch than a feature-length film because of their runtime, this leads to grand, cathedral-sized ideas gestating for such a short period of time that it can be smothering, or leave you with nothing. The latter is the case with Josh Leong’s “Chicken”. From the beginning, we are thrust into a world of structure and order, and the camerawork following suit, and we meet our lead, who, for reasons that are explained in the most convoluted way, must care for a chicken. While this could sound like the plot of the latest Pixar film, it plays like a straight drama, almost a showdown, between the boy and the chicken, but with every frame, it’s trying to beat you into submission with its unsubtle subtext. That subtext being fatherhood, while I appreciate the gesture, dealing with it in this manner is a big mistake, something so multifaceted should not be crammed into such a short runtime. Even as a short it could and should be longer, but instead, it is a short, but very dense and abrasive watch. The lead performers were all good, but there was much left to be desired with the editing and pacing. It’s not a bad film by any means, just not one that you would want to watch again because of the numerous missteps made.

“Chicken” was screened as part of the 2022 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

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