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Anson's Magic short film review

★★

Directed by: Anson D'Costa

Written by: Anson D'Costa

Starring: Anson D'Costa

 
Still Image from Anson's Magic showing protagonist.
Still Image from Anson's Magic

Time for some magic tricks.


A filmmaker has made a film in which he also stars as a wannabe magician, who has decided to take part in a virtual magic event, which is an online competition. In order to take part, contestants need to film themselves performing magic tricks and send the footage online. Anson is determined to do just that and he has many tricks up his sleeve.


Operating like a documentary, this uplifting short moves from one trick to another, as the hero demonstrates his skills. Some of the acts take place on a bed, with Anson filming his hand interacting with the objects, while others happen inside a living room, with another person filming him as he sits on a couch and does his tricks on a table. Closeups are often utilized, so that the viewer can see the actions create the act.


Many magic tricks are shown in this forty-minute film and they involve a variety of items. The magician utilizes a hat, playing cards, coins, a coloring book, small yellow balls and plastic cups to name a few. And watching him (or his hands) do the actions that result in the trick is rather amusing.


The film includes voice-over that belongs to Anson. With his narration, he enthusiastically talks about himself, his passion for magic tricks and how excited he is about taking part in the competition. Anson himself comes across as likable and intelligent and is convincing as a person focused on becoming a magician.


The soundtrack consists of various club tracks, which tend to accompany the tricks being performed. They are nice to listen to, but some of them are heard repeatedly and it can be frustrating.


Filming took place inside Anson's household, during a lockdown due to COVID-19, and therefore there are creative restrictions. The use of lighting is poor and the handheld camerawork often appears clumsy. The editing also has flawed at times. This is a film that obviously had a very tight budget, but it still gives the impression that it could had been better if things had been done with more care. It should also noted that sometimes when the tricks are shown, the performer takes too long to do them.


The main focus of this short is the display of the magic tricks but, apart from entertainment, the objective is to motivate the viewers to pursue their ambitions, as the film is about a man becoming what he wants to be. Anson might succeed in doing that, although the film is not a great deal of fun, due to some of the trick performances being too slow, poor film-making techniques and the songs that are played over and over.

 

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