Friday, 20 November 2015

[Film Review] Over

Writer/Director Jorn Threllfall
Running Time; 15 minutes

A quiet typical suburban English street turns in what looks like a crime scene. The story unfolds through nine consecutive scenes in reverse order.

Less is more from the running time to Jorn Threllfall's minimalist script devoid of any dialogue save for the occasional murmur. This is his strength keeping the viewer captivated waiting for something to happen as both observer and amateur detective. The latter is served as Threllfall increasingly tantalises with titbits as each scene progresses and watching the scenes unravel actually feel like time is passing much slower. The viewer becomes obsessed with every little detail to the point. Seemingly simple occurrences such as the rustling leaves in the wind to a father and son enjoying a kick around on the green become the focus in waiting for some sort of clue, anticipation for the big reveal.

As a storyteller Threllfall brilliantly lets the events speak for themselves bit by bit having fun with the traditional cinematic narrative rarely seen except in films like Michael Haneke's "Hidden" and Christopher Nolan's "Memento". Essentially it is clever story telling with a social angle that hits hard in every respect at the end that should give everyone watching some pause for thought.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

[Film Review] Everything Will be Okay

Stars; Simon Schwarz, Julia Pointer
Director/Writer; Patrick Volltrah
Running Time; 30 minutes

Divorced father Michael picks up his eight year old daughter Lea for their usual second weekend time together.  It seems like any other visit with her father, but soon Lea notices her father's strange behaviour and can't help but feel that something isn't right.

Capturing a heart wrenching family drama in a half hour short film is no easy task but it is a challenge young film maker Patrick Volltrah has risen to and overcome.

The success of the story of an estranged father's love for his daughter leading him to misguided drastic action lies in its simplicity. Volltrah has skilfully crafted his story to unfold through two very emotionally complex characters allowing their actions and reactions to dictate the narrative though it is mostly told through Lea's perspective. The mix of emotions are at the core of the film's gravitas. Michael's change in behaviour from light-hearted and jovial to increasing irritation and finally desperation is a tragic tale how fear of loss makes us do the craziest things. Lea is a typical eight year old who wants to play with toys and ride the bumper cars at the fair oblivious to her father's plans. This changes when she notices Michael's increasingly erratic behaviour and her distress pulls on the viewer's heartstrings. We instinctively root for Lea as she takes the role of the adult and changes the course of fate her father intended. As both of these lead to its inevitable conclusion we see a father lost in his deepest darkest fears inconsolable with poor Lea visibly and emotionally torn in the film's most lump in the throat inducing scene.

Michael arrives to see his daughter.
Patrick Volltrah is an engaging story teller who gets right to the crux of the film's emotional core. He doesn't just tug at the heartstrings but yanks on them so hard as to almost pull you into the unfolding story with the help of his two talented performers.
Lea is visibly upset with her father's actions.

Anybody who has lived through a break up would surely relate, and the rest be caught up in an emotional bumper car ride that will have you wanting to believe the film's final line uttered by Lea's mother that "Everything Will be Okay."

UPDATE!!! "Everything Will be Ok" has been nominated for an OSCAR in the Best Live Action Short Category. The nominees are as follows;

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