Directed by Ben Bloore
Starring Michelle Darkin-Price & Phil Molloy
Short film review by Monica Jowett
Seven minute short film Crossing Paths from director Ben Bloore is a dramatic yet and ambiguous tale of what brings two strangers together.
Allison (Michelle Darkin-Price) meets Matthew (Phil Molloy) on a bench, where she is sat in stunning sunlight. We are quick to establish that Allison has had a tragic and tormented past, but we don’t know why. Through flashbacks, we also learn Matthew has been through a tragedy, and that he is not on the bench with Allison by coincidence.
Through the dialogue between Allison and Matthew, and through the revelation of what happened to them, we learn that this is a story of regret and grief yet also a chance of redemption. The two sit on the bench and look back at what has happened to them both, yet know the only thing that either of them can do is move forward.
A small cast of only four works well for the short length of the film. Though they follow the script in its basic and enigmatic form, the actors have also added their own take on each scene and show a freedom with the interpretation of it, which adds another layer of intrigue to the affecting film. The cinematography throughout the short is used well to enhance and reflect the themes of the film. The flashbacks are in low lighting, everything is in shadow which suggests the darkness of their pasts, yet when Allison and Matthew are sitting on the bench, it is sunny weather, and everything is clear and bright.
The filmmakers have purposefully kept the film ambiguous throughout; creating tension by posing questions like why they are on the bench? And how did they come to be there and where they will go from there? This gives a great opportunity for the audience to draw their own conclusions about the characters’ stories, a chance that is all too rare in films which are gift wrapped perfectly for audiences.
Crossing Paths is a great example of a well-crafted film, bringing together an intriguing story, good acting and gorgeous cinematography.