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Courage Short Film Review

★★★★★ Stars

Directed by: #AamirQureshi

Written by: #AamirQureshi

The main character of the film in a dark, moody setting, gazing at the ground with a sense of sadness. The poster also shows that the film won an award when selected for Cheap Thrills Zero Budget Film Fest 2019.

Aamir Qureshi’s Courage is a powerful representation of said title; having courage and strength within yourself and utilising those mature qualities rather than being caught up on your appearance. This two minute film showcases in-depth topics that impact the viewer’s thoughts on humanity’s choices through skilful filmmaking.

The cast of this short film present enticing theatrical performances. Their approach to acting is perfectly matched to the writing of the film as there is no dialogue throughout its duration. Actors must focus on their use of expression and body language to portray the desired events, and they did this with great success. As an audience member, I was never lost in what was unfolding in the plot because of the brilliant attention to detail in the actors’ expressions and overall presence in scenes. Every presence in each scene is also very different from one another; the accomplished cast were able to separate themselves from other characters surrounding them, ensuring that their performances did not blend into the background. With their own source of talent and direction from Qureshi, the acting within the film is impressive.

As mentioned before, with no dialogue to create a primary, striking environment for viewers to sink their teeth into, the film depends heavily on its music (also by Aamir Qureshi.) The music used is beautiful in its own right, something that would be pleasurable to listen to on its own, but it also works beautifully with the film as well. It is intense and builds a sense of suspense as soon as the film begins – but its intensity is not overbearing. It is the ideal mixture of sound to match the tone of the film. The music gracefully carries the plot on a perfect beat until the last second of the film.

The cinematography and editing, by Syed Ali Bukhari, are definitely two of the most praise-worthy aspects of this short film. The cinematography is stunning and, like the film’s acting, pays great attention to the details of each shot. From a droplet of sweat running down the side of the main character’s bicep to the closer shots of his facial expressions, the cinematography creates an immersive experience for the audience. Pairing this with the stylish editing, it gives the film a very modern touch and, in this way, adds to the meaning behind the film – a topic that’s being dealt with is one happening in our modern society, especially with the rise in social media users and the many faces covering your feed everyday.

“Muscles may give you strength, but not courage.”

The film ends with these true words to live by. I’m a huge ambassador for riding the world of toxic masculinity and I think this short film touches upon that specific topic. The concept of toxic masculinity is used in reference to cultural norms that can be associated with harm to society and to men themselves. Traditional stereotypes of a ‘positive male figure’ – such as not showing deep emotions in the public eye, carrying a hard exterior and building their body to appear strong and ‘masculine’ – can be harmful to males, especially young boys as they grow, as these traditions do not let them explore themselves due to a form of social conformity. This film shows that the qualities within a being are of maximum importance compared to the qualities associated with appearance and physic. One can look tough but not have the ability to act with the strength they carry, which is what the events of the film unfold to represent.

Courage is thoroughly enjoyable in every element of the word. It is appealing to the ears, eyes and also the mind. Every viewer who watches has the opportunity to learn something from its storyline and apply that new knowledge to their own life and views on others.



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