Directed by@ #OisinOReilly
Hindsight is an effectively told story about a drug addict called Tony (Samuel James) who is trying to overcome his inner demons whilst in prison. Failure to do so will cost him the relationship with his daughter and now ex-partner, Nikki (Lizzie Stanton). Directed by Oisin O’Reilly, both James and Stanton provide marvellous performances as the cracked couple. Samuel James manages to pull off an intense balancing act as he portrays both sides of addiction. Earning and maintaining the support of the audience with a poignant fragility, whilst the darkest and most abusive side of his character comes to light through flashback. It is certainly no easy task, but James makes it look easy. The cinematography from Dylan Adams and Tallulah Self was strong throughout, technically competent and sometimes challenging even despite the film’s limited setting.
The use of different colour grades and mise-en-scène were effective in separating the non-linear events and the use of centralised close-ups that break the fourth wall proved extremely effective at involving Hindsight’s audience in the story, helping them feel more emotionally attached. The most effective moment of the film is the final shot, a haunting image of a picture drawn by his daughter, Tilly (Mia-Rose Lightfoot). The innocence of childhood is something that is precious, and with that innocence comes a somewhat natural naivety to the harsh realities of adult life. However, Hindsight manages to successfully strike a very important chord with its audience with its closing shot. It is a statement that highlights how children, although naive to an extent, do know when something is not right and it ends the film on a powerful and an unexpectedly profound tone. This propelled Hindsight from being just a good film to a very good one.
The only thing that really holds Hindsight back from the upper echelon of great independent #shortfilms is how it lacks a more in-depth exploration into Tony’s personal battle with addiction. The audience is never taken to an intimate moment where he is faced with the personal choice of throwing everything away for just one more high, finally, give in to his inner demons in the process, or staying strong for his partner and child waiting for him on the outside. It is these small but important missing moments that deprive viewers the opportunity to truly worry about Tony’s own actions and therefore slightly hinders our ability to root for him to overcome his addiction.
An albeit brief yet hard-hitting insight the life of a family that is on the verge of falling apart, Hindsight is a very impressive short drama both in terms of substance, performance and visuals. It crafts it’s characters well, leaving a sense of emptiness and hope inside your heart, as you find yourself really wishing that these people can figure it all out eventually, even after the credits roll.