The BRWC Review: Ophelia

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The BRWC Review: Ophelia

“A young woman’s insecurities manifest as a job interview goes awry.”

Writer Anthony Garland pulls no punches as the director of this unnerving short film, Ophelia. The mood he creates, tense from the outset, will keep audiences rapt. It is not clear in which direction this story will lead, thus capturing the essence of pre-interview nerves. I couldn’t help conjuring up Daisy’s interview in Spaced, though for all its surrealism, Ophelia is so much darker. Visually, it is on a par with Richard Ayoade’s The Double, and it is clear, not least through the names of the characters (Grumpy, Sneezy & Doc), Garland has a sense of humour. Nevertheless, he is willing to tackle strong themes unflinchingly.

Ophelia

Ophelia

I am confident Ophelia will be well received at film festivals, and hopefully Anthony Garland will follow up with a feature. With Black Mirror in mind, Charlie Brooker ought to keep an eye on this one.



See also:

Steven Shainberg’s Secretary (2002)

Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010)

 

From IMDb.

Greetings again from the darkness. The best short films somehow find a way to connect with viewers and make us care about the story and character(s) – in just a few minutes and usually on a very limited budget. The first film from director (and writer) Anthony Garland expertly establishes atmosphere and tone, creates conflict and develops a character we care about … all in less than 8 minutes.

Garland seizes on one of the biggest emotional stressors for many people … the job interview. The opening scene has a well-dressed Ali Mueller slowly making her way through a dilapidated building while ominous music cues us that we are about to watch a horror film. This horror is psychological in nature and plays to the power of the mind, and the internal battles we fight when plopped into a stressful situation. Ms. Mueller faces a tribunal committee of interviewers (named in the credits as Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc) played by familiar actors whose faces you’ll likely recognize (Mary Pat Gleason, Larry Cedar, Allen Blumenfeld).

The film has a dream-like feel and often we aren’t sure what’s real. However, there are certain segments that are clear manifestations of Ms. Mueller’s insecurities and fears. There is a Black Swan nod with her younger self in the mirror, and a razor blade used to remove any doubt that her outward confidence often fails versus her internal struggles.

It’s a nifty little look at how we seek to control our fears and doubts, and fits nicely with Ophelia’s line from Hamlet: “O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown”.


We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.


Trending on BRWC:

Red Devil: Review

Red Devil: Review

By Grace Williams / 17th November 2019
The Irishman: The BRWC Review

The Irishman: The BRWC Review

By Mark Goodyear / 10th November 2019
Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep: The BRWC Review

By Caillou Pettis / 10th November 2019
Parasite: The BRWC Review

Parasite: The BRWC Review

By Caillou Pettis / 5th November 2019 / 1 Comment
The Irishman: Another Look

The Irishman: Another Look

By Caillou Pettis / 28th November 2019

Cool Posts From Around the Web:


Esme Betamax is a writer and illustrator. Often found in the Cube Microplex. Favourites include: I ♡ Huckabees, Where the Buffalo Roam, Harold & Maude, Being John Malkovich and In the Shadow of the Moon.

NO COMMENTS

POST A COMMENT

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.