★★★ Directed by: Andrew Walsh Written by: Andrew Walsh Starring: Hannah Gott, Sarah Golding, Laura Vine, James Barr, Kyle Webb, Short Film Review by: Chris Olson
Immersing the viewer into the depths of familial angst, short film I Miss The War is an uneven yet moving piece of filmmaking, written and directed by Andrew Walsh.
Coming together on a particularly poignant anniversary, three sisters and two of their partners share more than just a meal. As they sit with an urn in front of them, they each bring to the table all manner of psychological trauma and emotional turmoil. Everyone except Adrian (a comedic turn from a very watchable James Barr), whose trust fund shedding tranquility makes him a super annoyance to the others, who are dealing with some pretty serious issues.
The performances are great, in particular Hannah Gott as the anxiety-riddled actress who is determined to make something of herself. As well as Sarah Golding, whose heartbreaking soliloquy in the bathroom was the most compelling scene in the entire movie. Kyle Webb is a strong stranger in a foreign place with plenty of hangups, and Laura Vine brings a bubbly energy to the proceedings that is much needed given the tragic event which has brought them back together. Overall, an efficient and interesting ensemble cast.
I Miss The War is let down by a more than a little rough around the edges sound design. Voices are recorded poorly and often the quality of the sound can vary even within the same scene. This was created a jolting viewing experience and stopped the short from gathering the emotional momentum it needed. Other elements of the filmmaking are pretty standard. There is no real attempt to introduce flair into the visuals which is probably for the best given the nature and tone of the plot.
Whilst the narrative is full of interesting elements, it never fully develops into anything truly cohesive. Each character has a fascinating arc and it would have been awesome if they all came together in a more formidable conclusion. That being said, the thematic depth which Walsh presents is palpable, exploring numerous topics within a short running time, such as mental health, PTSD, and depression.
In need of a slicker production and a tighter storyline, I Miss The War is still a piece of captivating cinema. The engaging performances make it a worthwhile watch and the subject matter is notably bold enough to make Walsh a filmmaker to watch out for in the future.
Watch the official movie trailer below...