What I found with Magic Kisa is something different. The short film leaves you wanting more from the story, and it's one case where I really could see the short being made into a feature, should the director and the producers find the money to make it.
However his brother has other plans, and suggests one last con to make it all even, a con that gets deeper and deeper the further the recently released brother gets into it. It seems he may be the one being conned once again.
The short opens up with some nicely edited short moments to give some background to the story and the brothers. It's a nicely set-up opening that gives you some reflection after you know the story, and like much of the short, raises more questions in your mind about these characters and their history.
From these early scenes, and the ones leading up to the bridge incident, you can see that there's a strong sense of style in the cinematography and of film-making. Some shots feel like they are pushed a little too far, such as the jaunty hand-held angles on the bridge scene early on, but overall it feels quite cinematic.
The night time section on the bridge is an interesting one that not only shows the strong filming techniques, but also brings in some rather quirky twists to the story with the two religious characters and their unusual methods.
The acting is good from Christophe Laubion, and again helps elevate the short to something more akin to a feature, and the characters are interesting and engaging, as is the story itself. A clever story that has a few nice twists to it, although it does feel somewhat constrained by the short time it's on screen.
That's something I really felt about this short, that the story was much larger than the film allowed, and at times it felt constrained and held back to fit into the time available. This was noticeable during some of the character decisions and story turns, where it felt like we could have had some more exposition around events in order to make the motivations and intentions clearer.
On a couple of occasions I felt that there were some things left unsaid or unseen, things that could have helped moments and reveals that followed to be punchier, or just to explain a little more. The relationship and intentions between the brothers could have done with some more time to flesh it out and make it stronger.
There's certainly plenty of scope within this story to make much more of the last con that the two brothers are engaged in, and to show what both are experiencing during it. There's certainly a lot more mileage in the story and looking back it is quite surprising how effectively the story was told in the short time frame, and how well you are drawn into the story.
Another aspect that's actually a positive for not exploring everything is that it leaves a lot more to the imagination, and so you could draw your own conclusions for some of the relationship between the brothers, but still I would have preferred a little more storytelling to the film in order to flesh out the story and characters and give some of the plot points a bit more power.
There are some clever turns to the story, the way the brothers communicate, and the way, with hindsight, you could see that perhaps miscommunication led the story to its final conclusion, or perhaps not.
Magic Kisa has a strong story to it and has good performances and a promising sense of style to it. The story is much larger than the film length allows and I would really have liked to have seen more around the brothers and the final con they run, but it is shown very effectively in the short film format.
It delivers a nice conclusion which also makes you think back to the rest of the film, re-evaluating a few previous moments, and that's always a sign of a good film, as well as the fact that it leaves you wanting more from the story.
I enjoyed the short, and it certainly shows that there's scope for something bigger from the film-makers behind it.