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Matt Roberts: The Battle is Over short film review

★★★★

Directed by: Leo Dominic Robert Field

Written by: Leo Dominic Robert Field

Starring: Leo Field, Aleisha Hughes

 
Poster for Matt Roberts: The Battle is Over showing protagonist.
Poster for Matt Roberts: The Battle is Over

A dramatic insight into the life of a very emotionally damaged young man.


Matt Roberts (Field) is torn apart by tragedies in his life, including the loss of his mother and grandmother. He suffers from depression and is suicidal. After a failed attempt to take his own life, he begins seeing a therapist (Hughes). He continues to struggle with his demons and is desperate to recover and get his life back on track.


This short explores themes of loss, depression, trauma and suicidal tendencies and pulls no punches when it comes to depicting the personal hell of a man who is in a very dark place. The scenes where he attempts suicide are quite upsetting and reveal just how broken he is.


Although the film has many distressing moments, it also has parts that include tenderness and it ends on an uplifting note.


Field is very convincing in his portrayal of a person who has hit rock bottom and is trying hard not to put an end to his life. He is a well-meaning individual, who does not know how to deal with the hardships that have come his way. Hughes is sympathetic as a mental health professional who aims to help him.


The film has a nonlinear narrative and contains many flashbacks of Matt's life, including spending time with his dog, visiting the grave of a deceased loved one and going for walks. There are also well-constructed montages that show photos of him as a child with relatives, scenes from his past and footage of his home videos. The creative editing also includes effective uses of fast cutting, match cuts and fade to white techniques.


The score is dramatic and sentimental and it contains wonderful pieces by Thomas Newman, which were composed for the 1999 hit American Beauty.


This short drama raises awareness for mental health issues and offers support to people who believe they have reached the point where things cannot get any worse. Some of its content is distressing to watch, however it deserves to be recognized due to its strong message of hope.

 

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