FILM

REVIEW

BFA

FOR FILMS IN CHARGE OF CHANGE

THIS MODERN MAN IS BEAT

directed by Alex Merkin

A man named Habib is at the edge of despair  trying to sell his guitar to find some money to provide for him and his wife. His crisis is triggered by his wife’s distrust in him as they are both living in a cheap motel, having a dreadful financial situation and this leads him to a path of rage and frustration. As he finally finds a buyer for the guitar, he feels like confessing to him about his situation, but this unveils an unexpected detail from his story.

Alex Merkin’s short film is remarkably shot and visually narrated, as it was meant to unfold gradually, the most interesting detail remaining a secret up to the last moment, reminding us of Coen’s masterpiece, “No Country for Old Man”. The transition from thick darkness to bright light coming from windows or opened doors is carefully handled by the DOP. Also, the colorization is admirably done, because in some scenes the light was very bright, but the effect of the colorization is stunning when it comes to equilibrating the highlights.

The editor also has an important role in maintaining the tension frame by frame, especially when alternating the flashbacks of the good times and the bad times from Habib’s marriage that came as a perfect overlay on the main story about the hardness of life and this ordinary man and how he manages to take over the control of the situation.

This film stands out from the crowd because it manages to induce an unique state of mind using an original score that perfectly mesh with the scenes, the acting and the atmosphere which the story wants to create. The music had a very interesting evolution, growing in intensity and guiding every move of the main character – who also does an exceptional performance.

Started as a project on kick-starter, this film already has 47 wins and 19 nominations and it’s an honour to have it in our selection. This one it’s certainly a much worth seeing because it’s exceptionally constructed and it’s going to keep you waiting till the very last moment for the enigma to unveil and for the unexpected plot twist that will make you rethink how complex this short film is.

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