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I am an Island short film review


Directed by: Damian Draven

Written by: Damian Draven

Starring: Jonathan French, Susie Redmond, Maggie Halada

Poster for I am an Island showing face.
Poster for I am an Island

A man goes to his isolated house in the countryside, to spend time with his wife. However, things are not what they seem.

Johnny (French) is riding his motorcycle, heading to his property, hoping to surprise his wife Annie (Halada), with a present and a bottle of wine. Annie is expecting an important phone call from a producer, regarding an audition. While she is in the bathroom, Johnny pours the wine and proceeds to wrap up the present. While he does so, a woman named Susie (Redmond) keeps calling him, appearing to be concerned about his well-being. Then things take a very dramatic turn.

This moving and distressing psychological thriller deals with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.

The story begins with normality, with the tension and drama gradually rising, until the plot twist arrives, revealing the devastating truth.

French leads the film very well, as a person who has gone through an extremely traumatic experience and as a result instead of accepting reality, he lives in his own world. His portrayal of a broken man is heartbreaking, because it is very realistic. Redmond is also emotional as a person who cares deeply for Johnny.

The film is well directed, with terrific establishing shots during the opening sequence. There is a methodically constructed montage, that utilizes voice-over to great effect. Composer Eimear Maccarrick does a fantastic contribution, delivering a score that is powerful, dramatic and haunting and matches the tone of the scenes perfectly. There is a tragic scene that utilizes rather creative sound techniques, during which all diegetic sounds are mute and only the music is heard. By doing so, the filmmakers make the scene more powerful, as the content of the scene, along with the score and French's performance indicate that words are redundant here in order to understand the character's devastation.

This short had a great deal of work put into it. The acting is superb and the filmmaking techniques are impressive. The most important aspect about this achievement though, it that it raises awareness regarding suicide. It explores the impact a person's suicide can have on the ones they leave behind and it encourages individuals who are going through this to reach out for help.

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