"Carjacking," a short film directed by Danny Passman, gives us a glimpse into the lives of the type of people who know how to talk but, for all their jibber-jabber, can't figure out how to communicate.
The short focuses on one of these people in particularCary (Shiri Appleby), a young woman who, perpetually whining into her hands-free headset, manages to obliviously annoy everyone around her as she runs errands in preparation for her impending wedding.
It is a carjacking in East LA that alters Cary's implied narrow perspective on life, albeit in ways the film never explores. The woman is finally silenced; her cell phone and Jaguar XK are whizzing away, down the 101 and Cary, stranded and slightly rattled, sits at a bus stop thinking what? It never becomes clear. What we do know is that the formerly garrulous woman doesn't want to talk about her experience with her fiancé, her mother or her insipid band of friends. Big questions are left unanswered, leaving the audience, unnecessarily, high and dry. The tension is set up but there's no pay-off.
Thankfully "Carjacking" isn't flawed for any other reason than that it leaves you wanting. In part, it's a testament to Appleby's talent. Playing Cary, the actress has limited textual material to build on but she creates a character worth watching, whose story, we know, exists somewhere behind her lonesome brown gaze and beyond what her feeble strings of words can express.
With a less intuitive lead performance, "Carjacking" could've been a very dry 15 minutes; instead it's merely half-bakedand, to be fair, there are much bigger mistakes the film could make.
Copyright (c) 2007 by Lauren Simpson
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