DISCLAIMER: My reviews are detailed and in-depth. This was THAC. You only have 24 hours. It's not easy, and no THAC brickfilm is ever perfect. I know this when I write the detailed review. IF IT COULD BE PERFECT, what could have been added/changed/improved? When we think about all these details in retrospect, we are training ourselves to think about them the next time we sit down to make a film.
I feel this film deserved more attention than it got, but there's still some parts that didn't flow smoothly, and I think it mostly has to do with visual communication.
Here's what I THINK the plot was. Guy in a back alley hears a noise and spots what appears to be a "homeless robot". Cuts to a flashback of when the guy was younger, and he was protected from danger by a robot (possibly the same robot?). The point is, this guy isn't afraid of a robot. Instead he has a soft spot in his heart for them. Back to present. He looks to his left. Poster about dangerous robot army. He looks to his left again. Poster about dangerous robot revolution. He looks to his other left. Poster that says "Don't Trust Him, Robot wars". He looks left one more time (shot reusage much?). Poster about robots taking jobs from people, peels off the wall. The point? There's a lot of propaganda about robots as a menace to society. Instead, he offers help to this poor homeless robot. They begin walking away together, and suddenly out of nowhere (from the very direction he is facing towards) he gets clubbed by some good-for-nothing fellow. The robot is afraid and backs away. Good-for-nothing guy proceeds to beat the kind fellow to death in the alleyway, and the robot runs away. The robot has fled to some small place that could be his home... so he's not homeless? He looks afraid and timid. He hears someone coming and looks towards the door, cut to black. We hear a doorbell ring.
There's three ways I can make sense of these events.
Either the robot is genuinely afraid, the whole propaganda thing is a set-up, and in reality people are being clubbed to death by their own government, and at the end the government is at the robot's door.
OR. The robot is actually part of a criminal set-up, to lure unsuspecting people into being mugged, but the robot doesn't actually want to be a part of it. The doorbell at the end is the criminal coming back to get the robot.
OR. The guy and robot are seen together and immediately attacked because robots are considered a menace to society. After killing the kind fellow, they have tracked down the robot to kill it too.
The first two were my original interpretations. The third only came to me as I was writing this.
Why so many interpretations? Because the visual communication needed to be clearer. Most things are fairly clear right up to the two of them walking out of the alley together (except whether the kind fellow recognized the robot from his childhood, or if he's just kind to robots in general). From that point on plot points become murky, instead favoring shock value and visuals over story clarity. If my first interpretation of the story is correct, a better shot of the bad guy showing he is a police officer or some other government operative would have cleared that up. If my second theory was right and the robot was part of a gang that lured people in and mugged them, then there needed to be a shot or two of the relationship between the criminal and the robot. Like a "go sit in that alley an wait" line, or something that connected the robot to the bad guys. If it was my third interpretation, a moment of the robot and kind guy being spotted together (holding hands or something maybe as a voyeur shot?) would help sell that idea that people are watching and "helping robots is taboo".
I understand entirely if there were other plans and they fell through. It is THAC after all. Someone not sending recorded lines when you need them etc. It's a crazy and challenging event. Plus I saw that you weren't able to spend more than 15 hours on it, so what you have is definitely impressive for that amount of time!
I realize you wanted that shock value of the guy suddenly being clobbered. And it definitely came as a surprise, nice work on that! But the bad guy came from the front, so he should have seen him coming...
Setting all that interpretation stuff aside, your animation was nicely done, you had a neat interpretation of the theme, your lighting was appropriately moody and interesting, and your set really felt claustrophobic and oppressive... which is a good thing! Because your setting is definitely a dystopian future with dark dirty cities crammed together. I liked the lighting in the room where the robot went and hid. I also liked the doorbell ending, because it left you hanging. I don't usually like "open endings" but this one worked for me because the story isn't about what's going to happen to the robot, the story is about what IS and HAS happened. The ending is open in the same way that Inception had an open ending leaving the viewer wondering whether it was all a dream or if it did happen. The sound design was also very fitting to your material.
All-in-all I liked this film, and I hope more people see it, because it deserves the attention.