Directed by Danny Deller
Starring Ieuan Keir, Aisling Lynch
Short Film Review by Evie Brudenall
It’s often during our darkest hours that we confront out personal demons and reflect upon the choices we’ve made, and Danny Deller’s short In Darkness explores just that.
After Niall’s (Ieuan Keir) girlfriend Hope (Aisling Lynch) is hospitalised due to being hit by a car, Niall begins to ponder life and the many complexities it poses as he waits to see whether or not she’ll pull through.
A sober voiceover narrates a very poetic and philosophical spiel about life, positing many questions and things to be considered in the process. However, the narration can at times feel convoluted and nothing more than an attempt to create a short riddled with quotable dialogue, such as, “Some say life is too short, but life is the longest thing we will ever get to experience”. It’s a profound thought, but is ultimately meaningless in In Darkness, but Keir delivers it with hearty conviction that it manages to maintain some potency.
Through flashbacks, we bare witness to the couple arc of Niall and Hope. They start off their journey as two individuals completely in love with one another but as time goes on, cracks in their relationship begin to appear. Hope sits by the phone, expectantly waiting for it to ring – but the call never comes. A rift has developed between them and the emotional distance has grown too great for any bridge to reconnect them. The love loss is portrayed effectively by Keir and Lynch whose performances are scored by a wonderful composition by Michael Vignola.
The soliloquy in the film’s final moments posits whether one bad choice can define a person for the rest of their life. Since we’ve only spent the best part of five and a half minutes with Niall, it’s hard to gauge whether that sentiment is applicable to our central character after witnessing some of the behaviour he exhibited toward Hope. As a character, he rouses very little sympathy from the audience, but people aren’t perfect and mistakes are inevitably made. I just wish Niall had shown some likable traits post his break-up with Hope to make the aforementioned argument more compelling.
Whilst presenting some interesting and thought-provoking ideas, In Darkness is a relationship melodrama that is weakened by the story told within its flashbacks. It falters, but fortunately, never flat lines.