Directed by: #KeyvanSheikhalishahi
Written by: #KeyvanSheikhalishahi
Nox is French filmmaker Keyvan Sheikhalishahi’s third film, having directed the feature Turba in 2014 and the short #Vesper in 2017. There are a few things that differ Nox from his previous films, it is the first English-speaking film, it was shot in Paris, and the first one Sheikhalishahi himself doesn’t have an acting role in.
Before we delve into the film, it bears an importance to look at Sheikhalishahi. It is so rare to see a director, let alone such a young director, with the maturity Sheikhalishahi presents in his work. The story in Nox, as well as in his previous films, is very intriguing and the narrative style used to depict the story exacerbates the power of the narrative.
Nox follows a burglary that happens on a senatorial election night. We learn as we go along that the facts we are presented with shouldn’t be trusted. Although this revenge story is told with a realistic aesthetic, for the most part of the film, it feels like a dream sequence – as I mentioned before, some details are amiss and some others happen with a too perfect flow. This doubt, however, is not a flaw of the film as it is resolved at the very end when we learn new information.
The narrative of the film is very concise, it doesn’t try to be more than a piece of a bigger story - Nox works well in the confines of a short film. And here is where Sheikhalishahi should be praised – in eleven minutes he manages to establish the setting, raise questions and tie the story together in a very intelligent and sophisticated way.
The praise, however, should be extended to all of the crew, especially to the actors – Matt Passmore and Brigitte Millar who play Peter and Claire, the burglars, and Agnès Godey, who plays Michelle, the cold-blooded wife – who create a flawless ensemble; and to the DOP, Jean-Clause Aumont, AFC, whose beautiful camera work flows smoothly throughout the film. The sound design and music (Gréco Casadesus and Gregory Cotti) goes unnoticed, which is a huge doing since in no specific moment are we pushed out of the narrative because of glitches in the audio, especially in subtle moments such as when Peter is trying to open the safe and Claire throws things on the floor, distracting him and aggravating our anxiety.
Nox is an excellent short film and I cannot wait to see what other films Keyvan Sheikhalishahi will be involved in next!