Final Girls Berlin Film Festival Review: Maggie May
‘Sometimes, doing nothing is the best thing to do’ isn’t always the best advice to follow. This is certainly the case with Mia Kate Russell’s short film ‘Maggie May’, which will be showing at this year’s Final Girls Berlin Film Festival.
‘Maggie May’ revolves around two estranged sisters, Sam and Maggie, who try to reconnect after the death of their mother. However, this doesn’t go completely to plan.
The 14-minute short film can solely be described as tragic and harrowing. Lulu McClatchy, who plays Maggie, is fantastic as the sister who does nothing after her sister is involved in an accident. Instead, she manages to ignore every bad thing that’s going on around her.
While she’s depicted as a villain, due to her negligence, there are hints throughout the film that also paint her as a tragic figure: her house is a mess; she suffers from anxiety. While she’s tragic, she is unsympathetic, and the film doesn’t try and shine her in a good light.
However, Sam May, played by Katrina Mathers, is a sympathetic character, and tragic in a different sense. Abuse and negligence are the core themes of this short, as it’s revealed that Sam is in an abusive relationship and is then involved in an in-home accident that eventually causes her demise.
Something that could’ve been prevented if Maggie had done something about it instead of ignoring it. On top of this, Sam is haunted by the constant crying of her baby children.
Both story arcs are acted out beautifully and makes this short, sadly, very believable. The acting is subtle, but effective, and is mixed with images of Maggie’s messy home life. The practical effects of Sam’s injuries and ultimate demise are also great and, at times, grotesque.
Overall, ‘Maggie May’ is a tragic and harrowing experience, and is a sad tale between two siblings. While I would highly recommend this short, go into this with a certain mindset, as this is an emotional rollercoaster.
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