Contact short film review

★★★

Directed by: #MonirAljaradli

Written by: #MonirAljaradli

Starring: #AbdulrahmanMurshed

Short Film Review by: Shrubaboti Bose




The film starts with a panorama view of a cluster of pale orange houses, the kind we see in a developing industrial area, accompanied by the noise of crickets in the background. Cut to the next scene, we observe our protagonist sitting inside a dark room engrossed in his work, silently typing away on his laptop until a doorbell interrupts him. As he opens the door and looks outside, mysteriously, he finds a parcel lying at his feet but no signs of the delivery person. At that very moment, we hear the soundtrack building up, spontaneously evoking a sense of suspense. This is the point where the actual narrative finally plunges into action.


Throughout the film, it’s interesting to note how there is hardly any dialogues, except the single greeting heard on the phone call. We are invited to read the messages shared in the chat between the protagonist and the unknown caller. However, the only mode of communication used by the director is the symbolic significance of actions and the music involved. The sounds bring out particular emotional responses from the audience and the director deftly uses this knowledge to his advantage. Although the set is minimalist, the overall lucidity of the plot is maintained through the crisp editing style.


The discovery of the strange parcel marks the beginning of a chain of unusual events that occur consequently. The eerie music continues as he takes the box indoors and places it on the table, only to dissipate slowly with the introduction of a new buzzing sound of a vibrating phone. Significantly, the titular scene follows, emphasising the symbolic value of the name Contact, and foreshadowing the dangers of establishing such a relationship with an unidentified entity. Using an over-the-shoulder shot, the director immediately makes us alert to the slightest of changes and influences us to anticipate a sudden shift in the pace of the cinema, creating a spooky effect in the way the rest of the incidents unfold.


The best part of this film is its cinematography. The camera focuses on the character but it also focuses on intricate details such as the hands and the back of his head. It imitates the human eye, leading us to trace its path and observe the narrative from different angles and perspectives, lending deeper meanings to each of the scenes. The only thing left unresolved is how the protagonist never realises the presence of another person in his room, especially when the intruder was using a mobile flash light and technically entering with loud, clearly audible footsteps. Hence, we do hear the resounding gun shot at the end of the film, but the director leaves us pondering whose death did we ultimately witness.