Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Directed by: #VRRao
Written by: V. R. Rao
Abyss Movie Review
Intense and skillfully assembled, short film Abyss from #filmmaker V. R. Rao is a remarkable and dramatic spin on the "gifted" genre. Think a condensed Chronicle with a stronger romantic thread and you are somewhere in the right arena.
Jonah Robinson narrates and plays the central character, an artist struggling to find work. Sitting outside a coffee shop a little boy (Maximilien Kafel) throws something at him which takes him back to a different time and space, and he discovers he has the ability to move objects with his mind. Will this help him find a job or make any headway with Jane (Lily Paige), the girl he likes? Unlikely if he can't learn to control his powers and get a grip on his ever changing reality.
Intelligently crafted and stylishly filmed, Abyss is one of those rare short films that is purely cinematic through and through. From the fluid editing to the special effects, it's not a story that would benefit more from any other medium than film. Rao is intentional with his pacing and complex narrative structure, ensuring the audience is swept into a severe confusion to match that of the central character. As the plot progresses and the viewer is asked to question the timeline of events as much as the events themselves, it becomes a rich piece to unpick.
Robinson gives a strong lead performance, ruminating in numerous scenes with a compelling intensity. The dialogue which overlays the scenes, whilst mysterious and dramatic, works well to glue the sequences into something more than random and offers the audience some glimpse at coherence. All the while Robinson maneuvers through a deft turn as a super person (I can't say superhero or villain as those are not the dynamics we are working with in Abyss).
Opinions may vary about the true intention of the filmmaker but there is a strong thread in this short film about the nature of power and self control. The main character's struggles seem to endure regardless of the powerful capabilities he seems to possess and that without fully understanding who he is and what he can do, he will never find his true destiny. As he flips through a book of symbolic memories, these seem to form a guide on how he can avoid the pitfalls of being overcome by power, something reinforced when he is handed the ring as a young boy later in the film.
Movie storytelling with prowess, Abyss is, literally, a powerful short film that spectacularly combines the idea of superpowers with an intricate and emotional personal drama.
Watch the Movie Trailer:
Abyss is one of the free movies available to watch on the UK Film Channel.