Anna - Short Film Review

★★★ Stars

Directed by: #ÉricPinéda

Written by: #ÉricPinéda

Starring: #JustineAllame, #AlexMesnil & #XavierGojo

Film Review by: David Richards


Éric Pinéda’s ‘Anna’ strikes intrigue in the mystery of how the plot unfolds. Like most non-linear narratives, this short focusses not on what the climax will become, but how we journey to the climax. This is clearly shown by the opening shot presenting to the audience what, in a linear narrative, would be the last shot of the climax. This is well executed throughout the entirety of the narrative and resembles a similar style and format of Gaspar Noé’s ‘Irreversible’ (2002).


‘Anna’ has a couple of triumphs under its belt, one of chich is the cinematography. Within the opening scene, it is clear that the cinematography is clean and well executed. With the complimenting scenery, cinematographer Alexandre Franchet accomplishes a great contrast in colour as well as capturing the stunning sunlight breaking through the tree canopies.


The introducing and key soundtrack leads intrigue to the plot and works well until we break into second act where a cheesy 80’s tone strikes. I’m sure in other circumstances this would work well but in parallel to the crisp modern cinematography seems misaligned. The sound design works well and seems faultless.


The productions design can be weak at times with the exception of the realistic blood FX. However, the location choices supress this by tying in well with the on-point cinematography. The most notable and beneficial location is the almost enchanting woods which offers up vibrant green colours which is well matched with the graffitied ruins. The passing through the concrete surroundings of an inner city also adds authenticity to the production.


Pinéda’s edit of ‘Anna’ is strong and stands on its own two feet, yet the editorial timing of some cuts can be mis-timed. Although this isn’t necessarily visible nor too impactful to the production’s quality, it simply does not add as much as it possibly could to help push the thriller moments of the narrative and performance. This may be a key example of an edit that is cut well but is almost selfish in doing so. A truly well-executed edit would stand strong in itself as ‘Anna’ does but also compliment other elements of the film such as the direction and performance.


The performances at times are weak in moments of dramatized conflict, such as the demise of a character or chasing through the woods. Justine Allames portrayal of Anna works well in most moments.


The plot is well structured despite its Non-linear timeline. Pinéda’s well developed script works well with its themes inspired by French auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s in reference to the beginning, middle and end of a narrative “but not necessarily in that order”. It’s a shame this intriguing script is tainted by un-hit marks of drama. This could be put to fault at the not so well executed performances or the slightly miss-timed edit. All in all, ‘Anna’ is a professionally written and produced short thriller which unfortunately fails to fully execute certain elements within the thriller genre. Yet again, I look forward to seeing what these filmmakers may achieve in future productions.