Short Film Review “Not Yet”

   

WATCH THE FILM HERE

First, the Recap:

The ability we have to treasure the ones we love should know no bounds. Is this never more evident than when someone close is suffering, unable to have any true sense of joy, most likely battling to even embrace a single notion of hope. Therefore, it is up to those who care and love them to at least try and help a sorrowful soul discover some happiness again. On a sunny day at a local park, with the hustle and bustle of others moving about their days going on around him, a man (Jon Noto) flags down a flower vendor (Chad Hamilton) as he is biking through. Upon making his purchase, the man returns to his bench.

Next to him, bound to a wheelchair and bundled up completely despite the sunshine is his sickly wife (Falon Joslyn). Fading in and out of sleep, the flower seems to get little overall notice from her. Longingly and deeply sympathetically gazing at her, her husband makes another attempt to bring some cheer to his spouse’s day, which at first seems better accepted, but then yields the opposite overall result. Frustrated at seeing his soulmate in this condition, he grabs a stone from the ground in front of him and randomly throws it, with completely unexpected repercussions that turn to jovial, fantastical, and deeply moving moments he get to share with his one true love.

Next, my Mind:

For this reviewer, I will free admit, there’s often nothing like the simplicity of sincere sentimentality, dramatic portraits of unconditional love, and the beauty of good old fashioned humor combined together in a narrative, which is exactly what has been created here with writer/director/producer/actor Hamilton’s 9-minute short film that explores our capacity to love someone through all things, be transparent in the frustration of helplessness when we experience instances we are unable to aid, then strive to make the most of unanticipated moments that turn into some of the most precious and significant we share.  Additionally here in this particular yarn, though, there is still the undeniable pain expressed of knowing that such times are finite, and that being ready to let go is not something one is ever truly prepared for or predisposed to accept. The very nature of the internal fight within us when facing this kind of experience is well done here with the mix of affecting drama that gets lightened up for a wonderfully potent sequence that allows the film’s greater themes to shine through. Yet, the reality check found in this story is also front and center, and likewise perfectly pulled off within the film’s execution.

Noto is wonderful in his role as the Man/Husband, painting that picture of someone who is so desperate to make every possible moment for his ill wife the best it can be, even when an initial lack of acknowledgement or clear response to his efforts is evident. The tokens of his affections he attempts-a flower and music–are heartfelt and so charming, as we know he’s coming from that place of absolute adoration for her and desires her to have happiness, even despite her condition.  The moment that occurs after his rather blatant demonstration of frustration over it all is as hilarious as what follows is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  All of this is well enacted by Noto. One might think, given the circumstances her character is in, that Joslyn wouldn’t in itself have much to do as the Wife, a woman confined and barely functioning, yet brought to a place outside where beauty is all around to be appreciated. Her belabored breathing, lack of any energy, and seemingly total disassociation with what is transpiring around her is so sad. Yet, then comes the magical experience she has thanks to a doting husband, and it’s such a powerful and touching moment to see her experience that it actually emphasizes an image within her that her soul is longing for even as her physical body prevents it.  Making this come to life in the way it does is excellently performed by Joslyn here.

Supporting cast includes Steve Zettler as an old man in the park who has an impact on the Man/Husband, Mike Yak as a mime who becomes an involuntary part of the Wife’s awakening to joy, and Allia Abouelenein as a little girl who also makes the mime’s day trying, along with appearances from Rachel Sydney, Frank Battaglia, Kate McMeans, and Marilyn Miller.  In total, with its combination of heartwarming love and humor along with a dose of heartbreaking reality, “Not Yet” is an endearing piece of indie short film magic that stands as another ongoing example of the genre’s aim to showcase the human condition in its myriad of forms and expressions but do it simply and with artistry.

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

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