Having not read about this short film before watching - which is the case for most of the films I watch and review - I wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, within the first few minutes of Chubby, I grasped pretty quickly what the theme would be. For all those reading this who may wish to watch, I would like to add a brief trigger warning. There are themes of sexual abuse and manipulation. The film doesn’t show anything in drastic detail but it does focus on this as the main subject of the story, and it can have the affect of uncomfortableness.
Chubby features some young talent, specifically in the form of Maya Harman, who essentially leads the film through every scene. As the story unfolds, she unravels and displays the sense of a great inner battle with every subtle expression. Given the weight of the story content, she handles everything with great prowess. Across from her is Jesse LaVercombe who embodies the kind persona but with a hidden dark passenger. Both add a haunting dynamic to the film, with two authentic performances. The rest of the cast fill out the narrative as a sort of noisy “padding,” however it’s required and really works. Although not shown a huge amount during the film, as it really shines the spotlight on the two actors, the supporting cast is a vital component.
The cinematography by Adam Crosby is simple but appropriate. He captures every scene with focus on the performances and I found for some of the more intense, mentally driven moments, his camerawork added to the unnerving, disturbing tone. Featuring a small amount of music by Andrea Boccadoro, Chubby feels all the more real with a stripped back sound-bed with highlights on the recorder instrument that is shown in the film. The technical side of the short is superb from editing and mixing, to those things I mentioned previously.
The cast and crew have created a really important piece. Chubby showcases a solid roster of actors with a well written script, good music, editing and a story to tell. I’m hoping it performs well at festivals and takes home some awards, as it’s certainly deserving of them. Recommended viewing.