11 September 2008 | TimeNTide
Excellent, Beautiful, Haunting, Poetic but Downbeat Short Film
I've watched this short film on the Sundance Channel several times now, and it gets better every time. I was initially surprised by the average IMDb rating, but after a little thought I can see reasons why this excellent short film doesn't have a better rating.
#1 - Those who see the cover art and the last name of the writer/director (Romero) and expect a horror short are certainly going to be disappointed. There's lots of haunting stuff, but it's mostly the "life is painful" type of haunting, not the "that ghost in the middle of the road is gonna kill me" kind. #2 - The filmmaker doesn't spoonfeed the story to us. He gives us all the pieces, and we have to put them together to see the whole picture. I was a little baffled at some things on my first viewing, and I didn't wholly understand the story until my third viewing. Thus, more than one viewing is recommended. The impatient, the simple-minded, and those who only see the film once are often not going to understand the story. #3 - The messages in this short film are accurate, but depressing. Those who like the philosophy of "everything happens for a reason" and "everything will work out for the best" will surely be turned off by the wise but downbeat messages here.
Much of this short is about the living dealing with the death of others, and many different angles are explored in a short time... struggling with losing a beloved spouse, even 10 years later; feeling guilty about not being close to a parent who has just died, and not reconciling before that death; feeling guilty about causing an accidental death, and for not ever having taken responsibility; and having the grief of another's death you suffered in childhood brought back up. There's also a rather bleak discussion about the fact that life doesn't turn out like we plan (as least for most of us), and death is the ultimate resolution for many issues.
My favorite thing in the film is the two main characters talking about the sense of smell in relation to memories. The woman who has just lost her mother doesn't like the fact that she can still smell her mother in the clothes because it dredges up painful memories. On the other hand, the old man who lost his beloved wife 10 years ago is deeply saddened by the fact that he can no longer smell his wife in their house or bedding or clothing after that much time has passed.
Excellent short film... haunting and poetic, both the dialogue and the music, beautiful cinematography, intelligent and well acted story.