The Stolen Wings (2009) Poster

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7/10
True justice would be if it were a full length feature
Renton_Whishaw1 May 2012
A good short film manages to be compelling in a very limited amount of time. A true talent does not need the standard ninety minute time slot to tell a great story. Thankfully, Irish filmmaker Gerard Lough crafts an interesting yarn in The Stolen Wings, his short and sweet fairy tale. The Stolen Wings manages to pique the viewer's interest in less than four minutes, but is sadly a victim of the short running time the story and its particular medium champions.

The story here is typical of many famous predecessors in the swords and sorcery genre. Retold by a young babysitter to her young charge, the stolen wings of the film's title belong to a fairy who fell victim to an evil sorcerer who wished to possess the last magic in her wings. The crux of this story lies in just how much of the story told by this young babysitter happens to be true. You know of course how this film ends. You see it coming a mile away. But like all good things, the success of The Stolen Wings lies in its execution.

Certainly this film is helped by the performance of lead actress Natasha O'Brien, who lends the story of the stolen fairy's wings just the right amount of magic, mystery and weight thanks in large part to her lovely voice. She relays this story with a very arresting command of its tone, just the right ingredient to keep audiences watching. The film's score is also beautiful and is effective in luring the viewer into a world of magic and wonderment.

Due to the restrictions of its low budget, The Stolen Wings cannot exactly go elsewhere--to ask it to expand more on its already intriguing story would be asking much of a film that given its short running time, took nearly a year to make. This leaves the viewer with a rather troubling conundrum; the stories Lough's short film pays refreshing homage to are, in part, fascinating because of the epic nature of their narratives. These stories are, oftentimes, the much longer and more time consuming of the books you find in the library. And if they don't exactly have length on their side, they make up for this with all the twists and turns of a novel's worth of plot. A brand new world demands detail and Lough's film is in great need of a big budget re-imagining to give that fairy--and his audience--some justice.

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