Now You See Me, Now You Don't (Most látszom, most nem látszom)
This is one of the few shorts that I’ve seen that really have captured my imagination and made me think that there’s room here for a feature, and definitely more to come from the director.
The thing that strikes you about this film from the opening scene is the great eye of the director, he does create some fantastic shots and it’s not just in the opening scene, in fact it’s not just in a handful of scenes, it’s every shot in the film from beginning to end.
Every scene and every shot seems to have been carefully considered and we’re treated to some stunning shots, and although some of the scenes do dip down from stunning, they just drop to engaging. Honestly I found it hard to pick out a poor shot in the whole film.
Part of this is the fact that the camera feels like a character in the film, and looking back on it, it feels as though the film has been carefully storyboarded in order for the camera and the audience to play a part in the story.
Every shot is wonderfully framed and looks carefully thought through in order, not only to look good, but also to hold a little meaning for the story.
Another excellent part of the film is the pacing. There’s no rush in the story, and there’s plenty of time given for the camera to explore or develop a scene and for the story to be told out through the scenes and the character reactions rather than dialogue and straight visual explanations.
It actually works better for the lack of dialogue, and coupled with the excellent direction it carries a great atmosphere to the film, an atmosphere that is very real and again feels like it is a part of the story itself.
The scenes remain subtle and slowly build characters, relationships, and the story, which is very strong. Without giving anything away it doesn’t shock, but does have a powerful moment of awakening to the characters and the story.
Story-wise, the moments between the mother and the son are superbly visualised and these more than any other part of the film carry such strong meaning which is so well portrayed through angles, objects, and some great lighting.
Actually that’s another aspect of the film I’ve forgotten to mention, the lighting. All the indoor scenes are fantastically lit, and not just with the usual levels to make it feel realistic. Again there’s been a lot of effort on making the lighting play a part in the film, and it helps convey feeling and make the cinematography even better than it is already.
The story plays out well and although the ending doesn’t pack the powerful punch I was expecting, it still delivers something interesting and with some strong scenes with good performances. What is perhaps the strongest aspect of the ending is that it gives new meaning to the film and entices you to watch it again. Doing that gives a slightly different experience to the first viewing, and again an enjoyable one.
There are few films, especially short films, that I can say made me want to watch it a second time so quickly, and deliver something different on that viewing, and that’s a good thing.
The film has a strong idea, interesting characters who subtly play out the story, a very interesting reveal, beautiful framing, lighting and cinematography, this short film demands attention and those behind it deserve the chance to deliver something more akin to a feature. After all if they can produce this sort of quality and beauty for a short film, imagine what they could produce for a full length film.
I do wish that the ending had managed to pack a bit more of a punch with me, but it kept with the pacing of the rest of the film and I enjoyed the slow turn of the story.
Bring on a feature I say.