Short Film Review “Lines”

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First, the Recap:

Imperfection. It’s a word that can cut like a knife in today’s world.  When society is trying to paint us as individuals into a corner filled with ego, self-centeredness, and an inherent, though sadly misguided, belief that attaining some semblance of perfection outwardly is the only way you will be accepted. The only means to find success, or a soul-mate, or any kind of sense of being whole. And this is all especially true when it comes to our own bodies as we age, and that pressure suddenly arises. For 40-year old Amelia (Amy Jo Johnson), however, life radiates a carefree, placid, and untroubled vibe, evident even as she happily pedals her bicycle to make a scheduled appointment.

Taking in all the beauty of people and natural surroundings, she is at ease, a serene peace and smile on her countenance. Arriving at her destination, the local dermatologist’s office, she enters and after sitting in the elevator music filled waiting room, is finally summoned by the resident Nurse (Ingrid Kavelaars). Now in the physician’s chair, the Doctor (Enrico Colantoni) arrives in the room and Amelia advises the routine procedure she desires. But the Doctor’s first observations immediately go to Amelia’s face, commenting about a habit she either has or had in most inconsiderate ways, and suddenly a truly awkward session begins.

The borderline mockery and chiding Amelia has experienced leaves her with sudden doubts and insecurities as she leaves and rides away.  But, arrival at home, and a wonderfully joyous reminder about what is truly important, brings back a very fulfilled reality.

Next, my Mind:

“Lines” marks the second indie short film from new director but veteran lead star Johnson, whose continued forays into the world of being behind the camera show great promise and grounded sensibilities, with this effort being no exception. What stands out here is a very much powerful, yet comedic, addressing of a real issue we face–aging.  And not just aging, but how we choose to deal with it–with grace, or by running to the nearest doctors who can sell “youth” at a price, and then think it will really please us or provide us a better sense of self. And despite its humor, this is a narrative that faces this concept head-on, with no apologies, and points out the absurdity of the erroneous mentality we can get ourselves into.

Johnson is, quite frankly, perfect for this role, and she exudes a “realness” that is so wonderfully relatable that we as the viewer can therefore DO exactly that–relate! And the sequence in the doctor’s office is a total stitch, thanks to Johnson’s emotive facial expressions as the Doctor travels to the land of inappropriate candidness. And that is also thanks to the genius casting of superb character actor Colantoni, whose sense of deadpan humor (with that slight smirk) is so well presented, he excels at making you completely want to punch his character in the face. And the assisting Nurse, played by Kavelaars, also leaves one thinking “how full of vanity ARE these people!?” Add the hip music score and some solid cinematography, it’s a wrap!

“Lines” is a fictional film about real life, and addresses the very potent actuality of the pressures people are put under to be unsatisfied with aging.  Basically, to be unhappy with yourself.  And to push this is damaging to anyone of any age really. So, to have this film take that and put those notions on their head–that is leaving behind what is surface and shallow, and delving deeper into what it is to be human.


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


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