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Can’t Go Home Again Short Film Review


Directed by: #AnthonyJCook


Can’t Go Home Again is a short sci-fi that takes the audience on a journey travelling through space and time, with one important question that arises, what moment in your life would you like to go back and change? For Agent Elliot Young the answer is simple, there was only one point in her life which has haunted and left her traumatised, against all odds, she attempts to stop this event from taking place. However, Agent Elliot is forbidden from revisiting this part of time, but this emotional tragedy is far too great for her to turn back now. Anthony J. Cook, director of Can’t Go Home Again, combines science fiction and serious matters such as abuse both physically and mentally. Two very different themes intertwined, and although it is rare to watch a sci-fi film with these kinds of subjects, it worked extremely well.

Elliot Young goes back to visit her family home, the place where it all started. Elliot poses as a police officer and is greeted by her father and convinces him that there is trouble in the area, he finally allows her in and offers a drink. The interaction between the two is forced and uncomfortable. Elliot comes across as a confident and powerful character, showing how she has taken charge of her own story and is no longer the victim. Her goal is to take revenge upon her father, an abusive and manipulative man and the source of her and her mother’s pain and suffering.

Ian Mairs who plays the father Justin, was a good choice however, the aggression and anger fuelled persona that he needed to portray was lacking. It was difficult to see him as this intimidating figure, it was clear that this role did not come naturally. It is often difficult to become this kind of dominant character if you are mild-mannered in everyday life. In that sense, it was not an entirely convincing performance. However, the sly and undermining comments make him more of a vicious character rather than violent. It was clear that the relationship between the two was fraught and they were completely estranged from one another. I did find it interesting that the father accepted quite quicky that his daughter had returned from the future, this may have not been my first guess! It would have made sense to keep that layer of confusion and would add drama to the scene.

Can’t Go Home Again provides a voice to victims and puts them in control of their own story. Agent Elliot is a strong character and has overcome the fear and manipulative tactics of her father, she is now able to overpower him and rewrite her own past, she does not let this define who she is as a person. This was a great short film with a powerful message.


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