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Drawn Away short film review

Directed by Christian Plamenov

Starring Ian Hoyle and Lyd Waller

Short film review by Chris Olson

Intimate and obscure, this short film written and directed by Christian Plamenov captures the beautiful isolation of obsession and the bittersweet redemption of artistic expression, through a captivating, if distorted, love story.

Initially told through extreme close up shots, the viewer will inevitably struggle to decipher the plot of Drawn Away. However, as the short film continues, more of the picture is shown, both literally and figuratively, and we see the characters in full, enabling us to start to piece together what is happening. Essentially it is the story of a socially awkward artist (Ian Hoyle) who develops an intense infatuation with a shop assistant (Lyd Waller), who sells him painting materials. Struggling to express himself verbally, the painter slowly reveals his feeling on canvas.

Without any script to dilute the potent themes, both Hoyle and Waller are left to do all the talking with their eyes. There is intensity and longing in the former and complete intrigue in the latter. Sequences of revelation are done with subtlety, allowing the viewer to arrange the pieces for themselves, like an emotional mosaic. Plamenov artfully constructs a rich and vibrant dialogue, without resorting to actual words, highlighting that emotions are often more abstract ideas than explainable constructs.

Though the framing is intense and acutely connected the film's themes, there is a degree of repetition by the latter half of the movie, where an increased sense of tension or excitement was expected but not delivered. That being said, the score throughout is purposeful and builds tension well, and the performances are heartfelt - genuinely sucking you into their “relationship”.

Plamenov has a penchant for intensity and Drawn Away has this oozing from every frame. It's a short film built on universal themes without the restrictions of language, and instead reveals the complex nature of desire in all its obscure glory.

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