Short Film Review “Edith”



First, the Recap:

Ghosts of the former. Things which haunt us that can no longer be altered, only dealt with. As our minds are taken in by events that have since come and gone, how we choose to cope with them shall forever vary, even if there’s truly only one actual answer to follow. Yet, as so often occurs, we turn to that which damages us further. Jake (Peter Mullan) finds himself at the bottom of a whiskey glass at a local pub, vaguely taking in his surroundings while trying to drown beleaguering and painful memories both past and present of his lost love Edith (Catherine McDonough), despite the initial attempts by a carefree soul named Sheila (Michelle Fairley) to help him forget.

Pushing her away both there and even when a sudden moment of illness interrupts his misery, Jake somberly looks back in his mind to when he was a young man (Elliott Tittensor) and his beloved Edith (Sai Bennett) was the object of his first affections.  Yet, while finding out about an unexpected indiscretion with another man (Alex Jordan), Jake chooses to push it down and try to move on with Edith. When circumstances took her away from him, Jake has since lived with the sense of being troubled by her spirit for his secret knowledge. Soon, it becomes apparent Jake must choose between lingering sadness or newfound life.

Next, my Mind:

Pulling no punches in delivering its raw, compelling, and impactful narrative to viewers, director/co-producer Christian Cooke’s 15-minute short film hurtles ahead with weighty execution ultimately tempered by equally convincing and emotionally intelligent purpose that gives a fantastic glimpse of hopeful light in the darkness. Truly excellent cinematography aids in carrying us along with Jake through every little nuance of his journey both past and present, allowing us a very personal viewpoint of the struggle with loss, anguished existence, the need for help, and a willingness to release what’s ultimately causing it all in order to live again. This all paired with a deeply affecting musical score from composer Richard J. Birkin makes for a piece of engaging cinema. This is the human journey, grounded in realism, intense in its presentation, deliberate in its message, and transparent in its edgy resolve.

Mullan is on the top of his game here, exceptionally sincere in his portrayal of Jake as the older, broken, haunted man he is, unwilling to really accept anyone else’s assistance, settling into the fact he feels a sense of responsibility to take ownership of the actions he didn’t do when his beloved Edith was still alive, and now under the impression she’s besetting him from beyond because of it.  Watching his character’s journey to redemption and deliverance is very, very well enacted, and Mullan’s passion and drive is more than evident. Fairley’s forgiving, stoic, and patient Sheila acts as a potent foil against Jake’s overwhelmingly embittered, isolated attitudes, never willing to give up on him, and somehow give him space while letting him see she’s honestly and wholeheartedly there for him. This isn’t an enviable position for the character to be in, yet Fairley plays it tight to the vest and gives us someone to bring Jake out of his funk, even if he doesn’t realize he needs to. Fairley beings this out with conviction and equal vigor.

Solid supporting turns are presented from Tittensor and Bennett as the younger incarnations of Jake and Edith, both effectively showcasing the events that took them to the places of conflict, even though their love ultimately saw them through. Jordan does well as the other man in the picture during the younger days, and McDonough is wonderful as the elder Edith, shown within the confines of when the older Jake is sensing her presence around him. An additional appearance is made by established actress Robyn Malcolm as the barkeep where Jake often inhabits. In total, “Edith” is a more than worthy short film effort to take in and even learn from the lessons its story provides, as we all know the pains of loss and how often the final answer to it all is to let go and allow ourselves, our lives, to carry on.

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



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