Short Film Review “Alison”




First, the Recap:

Wholehearted dedication. Unwavering commitment. Absolute, undeniable love. In a day and age when these concepts are not necessarily considered the norm within the context of relationships, it causes one to truly ascertain the depth of resolution one has to anyone they consider their partner in life. As always, the real tests of promises made occur within the times of trial. On this specific night, one young man named Jason (Kristopher Turner) will have to make a choice when it comes to his girlfriend Alison (Jessica Rose), made much more difficult when she’s coming off a serious bender and is acting, well, just a tad off-kilter. It becomes a long walk home, embarrassing to him, and unknowingly humiliating to her.

Managing to successfully make it back to their residence, the evening doesn’t truly improve as Alison’s behavior continues to remain erratic and unpredictable, fading in and out of awareness, suddenly animated and wanting food, then deciding it’s high time to relieve herself of any contents her stomach might have been desperate to hold onto, followed by the inevitable aftermath and clean-up. Even when finally getting Alison to lay down in bed and ideally fall asleep, Jason finds himself again having to entertain and/or play caregiver to her, the evident exhaustion, both mental and physical, starting to take its toll on already fractured patience. Yet, when it is all over and the following morning arrives with Alison back to normal, Jason’s reflections on what happened both overwhelm him and provide an answer to the question he’s been asking himself all along.

Next, my Mind:

Combining an emotionally-charged rawness with a stirringly affecting undercurrent that leads to a beautifully executed, credibly persuasive, and heart-warming finale, director/co-producer David Lester and writer/co-producer/lead actress Rose’s 13-minute short film creates a tapestry that so deeply illustrates both the abiding frustrations and tender ministrations that accompany the devotion we would all aspire to in a truly loving relationship. The deft portrayal about that state of involvement not being a constant walk in the park, but rather a journey that guarantees bumps in the road will arise, hence moments of doubt, facing times where giving up would be so much easier, and having to make a final choice as to whether it’s all worth it, only adds to the impact of this narrative and it’s messages that ultimately culminate in the so often recognized realization that sometimes, you have to simply be willing to say you’re sorry while also coming to the appreciation of how much you do love that person no matter what. Intimately filmed so as to completely immerse the viewer in this couple’s tumultuous road on a given night, it’s actually so overtly relatable that it’s hard not to be totally engaged from start to finish, with a solid mix of both comedic and dramatic elements to keep the pacing and interest intact.

Turner’s performance as Jason is well-founded and very much grounded in that “everyman” style necessary to realistically enact the character here. Jason is indeed that normal guy whose reached a point of potential intolerance of his sometimes wayward girlfriend’s behavior. Watching the level of his own self-consciousness get elevated when trying to simply get Alison home successfully while she insists on perpetrating seriously awkward situations in public only gets alleviated mildly once he does get her there. Then encountering a whole new onslaught of uneasy, unpleasant, and ungainly situations to deal with, we can tell his perseverance and endurance has run its course. Yet, his dogged determination to fight through it and just be there for Alison lends so much credence to the resulting feelings he expresses the following morning when everything has returned to usual and Alison is there doing some of the simplest yet most meaningful things for him that unquestionably endear her to his heart, all acted out perfectly by Turner.

Likewise, Rose’s turn as the titular title character is nothing short of amazing in that, again, it’s such a rooted portrayal of the character and not some overblown or overacted cliché. We can clearly see that Alison is a woman who has those times where the idea of cutting loose gets taken a bit too far, subsequently leading to the circumstances that cause her to become a pain for Jason to be responsible for. Yet in this state of total inebriation, as often does happen, Alison sees everything as a rollercoaster of conflicting emotion, first on a silly streak where every action is entertaining, to the volatility of having the downward spiral of anger, shame, and refusal to accept she is loved by him. Finally arriving at a manageable frame of mind, there’s the total physical collapse leading to sleeping it off and being up and about the next day, back to usual, and doing the things she’s appreciated for and then some, all of which causes Jason to acknowledge within himself how he knows he feels towards her, with her own reaction displayed so deeply moving.

In total, “Alison” is a potent portrait of the way love can truly be, filled with challenges, doubts, perceived resentments, totally soul-stirring healing, and irrevocable loyalty, passion, and understanding that unequivocally demonstrates the fondness, adoration, and unshakable desire that can weather any passing storms.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!



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