Directed by John Perivolaris
Starring Miranda Langley
Written by C.J. Lazaretti
Short Film Review by Monica Jowett
Short comedy film Mona and the Stations of the Cross, written by C.J. Lazaretti and directed by John Perivolaris, shows a young woman struggling with her boyfriend’s issues and subsequently turning to Jesus as a way of getting through.
Miranda Langley stars as Mona, who is confused and upset by the way her boyfriend has been treating her. Entering her room, she is clearly at a low point, and her continuous monologue that goes on for the 9 minutes of the short film portrays the chaotic life of a young woman in love. The dialogue ranges in emotions, to the point the viewer wants Mona to be quiet, and not think out loud. She is her own enemy, alternating between hysterical, sombre, agitated and sometimes calm; the monologue is a tumultuous account of what is going on inside Mona’s head. For a young woman with One Direction posters on her bedroom wall, she seems to be thinking very seriously about her relationship.
The film is set in just one room: Mona’s. The sparse decoration doesn’t feel that homely or as though it is a real bedroom of a young woman. However, the small space is used well. Mona, in her long rambling of feelings, moves around familiar with the features of the room, from lying on the floor, leaning against the wall to curling up on the bed.
The inclusion of the crucified Jesus on the wall seems odd, especially as Mona talks to it as though he is her long term friend, but you discover Mona is Catholic and finds comfort talking to the symbol of her religion. Despite the fact it does not respond, she looks to it for guidance, and though she never gets an answer, her non-stop obsessive flow of words comes to the conclusion of what to do - as though the crucifix has been talking to her the whole time.
One of the highlights of the film was the clever use of the lighting. The bedroom setting utilises the overhead light, but as Mona goes on her obsessive unravelling of her boyfriend’s actions, the lighting has subtle changes that reflect her emotion. Toward the end, when Mona feels enlightened by what she must do, the lighting is brighter, almost like a sun ray highlighting her face, but her mood and her actions change dramatically, making the room darker, and her face goes into shadow. For such a small space, and in a small amount of time, the lighting and cinematography techniques are used well.
The inclusion of religion gives what could have been an average film about a young woman’s torment some edge. It creates a new angle by which to look at her problems, and adds another layer of comedy to the film.
Click here for more Short Film Reviews