The trouble with most shorts/short student films is the lack of subtlity and story and the over-indulgence in camera work and special effects. I've seen a lot of short films and I am so sick and tired of people trying so hard to be clever and technically impressive. The great thing about Circled Wagons is the fact that Nathan Williams trusts and respects the audience so much that not only does he NOT try to impress us with his filmic techniques, but he also doesn't spoon feed us the meaning of the story. In other words, you can come away from this short film with numerous conclusions on what the filmmaker was trying to express. Is the couple breaking up? Are they really talking about politics or is there something else going on? If so, what is going on? A sincere sense of ambiguity and complexity in character and story is true sign of maturity. Watching this simple and short study on regular, everyday people is like a breath of fresh air.
I only gave it a 7 simply because I didn't care too much for the characters but that's probably because the film is only a few minutes. It needs to be longer (20min.?) So, I was left feeling a bit empty. And, furthermore, the last shot when the power comes back on is a little cheesy (especially since it's followed by a pop song during the credits) but, anyway, these are minor flaws that not need be focused on when compared to the many positive qualities the film offers.
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