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A Circle Line Train short film review

Updated: Mar 17, 2021


Directed by: Martin Venier

Written by: Martin Venier

Starring: Zarah Kofler

Poster for A Circle Line Train showing protagonist.
Poster for A Circle Line Train

A young woman (Kofler) is stuck in a life she yearns to be free from.

This short, fast film is a drama that was inspired by the Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody and it looks into the life of a tormented woman, who dreams of escaping into better things. It begins with her walking to an underground station and taking the train to work. It then cuts to flashbacks of her life and shots of various locations around the world, particularly landscapes and wildlife, accompanied by her narration, addressing her father and informing him that she is unhappy with her current situation and wishes to be free from it all.

The way the entire film is made, makes it look like a five-minute montage. Although it is five minutes long, it consists of many shots, that have been edited very creatively, making the experience of viewing the finished work being quite a ride, by taking the viewer through busy streets, beautiful outdoor locations, such as deserts and mountains and nightclubs. The protagonist is shown in many of the shots, either traveling in a train, or in the numerous flashbacks, where she appears to be distressed. There are shots of buildings, crowds of people, breathtaking scenery and animals, including elephants and giraffes. There are also sinister sequences, involving the heroine taking drugs, being surrounded by figures dressed in black, wearing white masks and menacing eyes glowing in the dark. These appear to represent her struggles and nightmares.

There is a brief, but mesmerizing shot that deserves special mention. It depicts an upside-down shot of London, including the Tower Bridge, where the woman is floating in the air, between earth and the sky. This remarkable shot could symbolize the fact that her world has turned upside down.

Kofler delivers a convincing performance as a troubled individual, who wants better things for herself. The voice-over is provided by Maria Louis and she does a good job.

As mentioned, this is a fast film and this is due to the high number of shots that are put together through frequent use of fast cutting and fast motion, during a five-minute duration. The choice of music adds value. At certain times the score is dramatic and at others the filmmakers utilize electronic music. The cinematography is creative, with interesting use of lighting.

This achievement relies mostly on images rather than narrative in order to grab the audience's attention and it successfully does so. In five minutes, it takes the viewer on a captivating journey filled with drama and beauty.



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