Short Film Review “Alone”



First, the Recap:

When we conceive the notion of being alone, it takes on a myriad of facets. Is it the case of being isolated in a crowd, not having a sense of support, bereft of having a special someone by your side, or the literal fact you are without anyone at all, perhaps purposefully ensuring you have time away with your own thoughts and comfort in mind, with no bothers from any other people? The latter becomes the apparent situation for one man (Mehmet Fatih Guven) on a quiet evening at home, rolling a smoke, and looking to simply ease into the night.

As for what he might engage in, it isn’t clear, but even as he begins to settle in, a quick glance at the blackened TV screen in front of him gives him pause. Feeling his eyes must be playing tricks on him, the man initially turns towards the doorway into the living room, gazing into the hallway beyond. Nothing. Choosing to continue back on his original activities, a secondary glance at the screen once again jars him, and another bewildered look into the hallway, its creaking sounds now evident, even as the lights go out.

Next, my Mind:

One of the most engaging and beautiful things about the short film genre, as this reviewer has commented on many, many times, is that there are such incredibly impactful narratives that can be presented to the viewer in very short order and still yield top quality entertainment. For director/co-writer/cinematographer Tofiq Rzayev, this could not be more true in delivering a two minute effort that so effectively plays on every person’s innate fear of the dark, a creaky old home, and the things that go bump in the night. Visually intelligent with its perfectly executed “hint at what’s there” imagery creating an ominous and eerie tone, the film’s accompanying music score also aids greatly here in transporting us into the exact kind of circumstance we would ever wish to be in while providing an equally creepy finale that cements the scares into your mind, which then is set free to fill in what happens next via chilling conjecture. It’s the straightforwardness and simplicity here that makes the entire affair work so overtly well.

A staple presence in many of Rzayev’s efforts over the years, Guven once again brings a fine and heavily understated performance to the table as the Man, a normal, everyday guy who’s just desiring to enjoy a smoke and relax into whatever else his solo evening at home might bring. Watching as this plan is summarily interrupted by what he first thinks is his imagination, but then begins to show signs of being frightfully real, it’s affecting because of the raw nature of uneasiness and building trepidation the moments bring for the character and his becoming-ever-more-disturbing plight.  Guven has very little time to create this atmosphere within the Man, but successfully pulls it off to great effect. In total, “Alone” continues to showcase Rzayev’s constantly improving prowess as an indie filmmaker, one to keep watching for without question, while further illustrating what the medium of short film can accomplish when the right people are involved.

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

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