7.7/10
70
5 user 1 critic

The Bridge (2005)

A psychologist, recently fired for her failure to prevent a patient suicide, must deal with an old man looking to die.

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Cast

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Mary
Leonard Fenton ...
Simon
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Storyline

The film tells the story of a young woman, Mary, who was recently dismissed from her job as a hospital psychologist, following a patients suicide. Mary then meets an old man who has given up on his life after the death of his wife. She feels connected to this man and though her own fears and failures, reaches him in time and saves his life. Written by www.corrsonline.com

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Plot Keywords:

suicide | neo noir | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short | Thriller

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April 2006 (USA)  »

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£625,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A thinking-person's stylized art film. Fans of Andrea Corr as actor will enjoy it also.
30 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some young filmmakers cut their teeth on lowbrow, meant-for-drive-in (now direct-to-video) B-movies with little money and even fewer expectations. Hollywood maestro of low-budget pulp movies Roger Corman gave future cinematic superstar directors their early breaks. People like Martin Scorsese. Francis Ford Coppola. Jonathan Demme. Once they were given bigger budgets and higher quality scripts, they matured into the masters they are now.

Still, some lucky artists begin immediately with debut films that are of a much higher caliber, and far more subjective and personal, than the typical rookie fare. Take David Lynch's surrealistic nightmare 'Eraserhead.' Or Roman Polanski's innovative 'Knife in the Water.' These aren't merely movies, they're primal dreamscapes painted on a living celluloid canvas.

In the tradition of visually-stylized old-school directors such as Fritz Lang, Igmar Bergman and Stanley Kubrick, Richard Raymond's debut short film The Bridge relies heavily on camera work, lighting, and picture composition to create its ominous mood. The music by Niko Tsonev sets the right atmosphere, with a sound as dark as the film's look. What you hear and feel emotionally is just as important as what you see.

In a story by Ludwig Shammasian that's reminiscent of early Rod Serling, two lonely characters (Andrea Corr and Leonard Fenton) find each other under strange circumstances on a cold, snow-covered bridge. Both have suffered great losses, and are in the midst of despair. What happens when they connect is what carries the minimalist plot, such as it is. No spoilers here. Like any good Alfred Hitchcock suspense film, it's better not knowing what's coming. However, having said that, don't expect the supernatural or paranormal. This isn't really an M.Night movie.

The only two actors in the film come from vastly different backgrounds, generations apart. Ms. Corr is performing in only her fourth movie role, and her first as lead. Best known in Europe & elsewhere as the diminutive lead singer of Irish pop-rock quartet The Corrs, her professional acting experience amounts to a small supporting role in 'The Commitments' (1991), a 2-minute cameo as a teen-aged mistress in 'Evita' (1996), and a prominent supporting role as a rural violin prodigy and ingénue in 'The Boys (and Girl) from County Clare' (2003). Only in that last feature could she show off her acting chops. Some pedantic souls might quibble about the authenticity of Andrea's West Ireland accent (she's from Dundalk on the east coast), or notice the less-than-convincing simulated violin skills (she's a pianist & tin-whistle player by trade), but no-one can dismiss her emotional depth or charismatic screen presence, particularly in this short-subject film. The camera adores her luminous face, even when made to look decidedly unglamorous, as in 'Clare' and 'Bridge.'

Leonard Fenton has been acting since the 1950's, mostly on stage and on television in the UK. He's highly regarded as a "traditionalist" actor who buries himself in his characters. In this role, he exudes both empathy and menace as an old man at the end of his rope.

If high-minded concepts mixed with visual flair is your bag, then you'll enjoy this latter-day "Twilight Zone" episode. But don't look for any off-screen narrator to help fill-in the gaps, or any comic relief, either. This is one serious, somber thriller. And beautifully rendered, in an ethereal, 'Blue Velvet' kind of way. The ending leaves itself completely open to interpretation. The viewer takes whatever he/she chooses from it. That is what in cinematic parlance is called 'challenging.' An exercise for the cerebrum.

The Bridge may be only 25 minutes long, but Raymond has managed to pack it with style and depth worthy of a feature. It's an idiosyncratic film that hints at what he could achieve as a filmmaker if given a more fully-realized script and more characters to direct. There are promising careers ahead for both Raymond and Corr if they continue to pursue quality work.


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