Also known as "wasted potential" or "same old story with new cover"
I happened to catch this short by coincidence, knowing nothing but the fact that it was directed by Mads Kamp Thulstrup, one of this year's graduates of The National Film School of Denmark. This was his graduation film, and being the film lover that I am, I keep an eye on rising talents, so I decided to watch it. Imagine my disappointment when what I see turns out to be nothing more than a rehash of the old story of the man who discovers that his wife is cheating on him. No new ideas are explored. The film could have had an interesting take on the confrontation. It could have presented us with a psychological study of adultery, complete with a background story and the reason behind his wife's actions. Heck, it could have simply put forth a nice, simple twist on the formula. Regrettably, it does nothing of the sort. Instead, it merely follows the rules of the formula, delivering an uninteresting, uninvolving and ultimately pointless film, that contains nothing we haven't seen before. The acting is quite nice; no complaints there. The plot is as already mentioned, derivative and unoriginal. The pace starts out fine, but gets lost near the middle point of the film, leaving the last half seeming like a muddled mess with no direction. The dialog is mostly great; it serves as an excellent introduction to the film. Through a few simple cuts and even fewer lines, we are graciously told the main conflict of the short, without it ever being mentioned directly. The visual side is quite good, though somewhat limited. The fantasy sequences are all colored in a passionate red, which is fitting for the subject matter, but really not particularly interesting to look at in the long run. Most other scenes are tinted a blueish dark, very good choice, in my opinion, as it helps a lot with the mood. The music is limited and kept to a traditional score, with no irony or self-reference(though I suppose that is standard for graduation films). It works quite well, in spite of that. What really disappointed me on this film was that within the first few moments, I had figured out not only what it would be about, but what would happen in it, as well. It held no surprises. I'm not entirely sure whether Thulstrup underestimated the importance of a good story, if he considered this a practice project or if he just decided to focus entirely on direction, but I see a lot of wasted potential here, and it's really quite sad. I will keep an eye on Thulstrup and any work he does in the future... but I do hope he spends more time on the story from now on, or possibly hires a better writer. As much as I enjoyed the tone and direction of this, the thought of what it could have been just really gets to me. I recommend this to fans of drama, though I doubt anyone looking for more than quality direction will find anything worth their time in this. For the very accepting and other aspiring directors mainly. 7/10
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