Directed by: #AnthonyKalmeta
Written by: Anthony Kalmeta
Overcast Movie Review
Intense and bursting with robust familial issues, #filmmaker Anthony Kalmeta’s short film Overcast is a stunning example of dramatic #filmmaking. Tackling numerous issues in the home whilst delivering a thrilling plot and exceptional performances, Kalmeta proves himself to be an effective and devastating storyteller.
Connor Falk plays Eric, a young teenager whose life is thrown into chaos when his mother (Daniela Nyffenegger) disappears under mysterious circumstances. Eric’s father (Lane Wray) insists his mother has abandoned them and run away into a new life without them, but something irks our young protagonist, who starts to question and challenge his father, and indeed his own memories of his mother.
Enrapturing and gripping, Overcast has an unrelenting tension which takes a firm hold on the viewer early on and we don’t notice it getting firmer and firmer throughout the running time. Kalmeta employs numerous dramatic tactics to keep us on our toes, and this is bolstered by the terrific chemistry between Falk and Wray. Their performances are individually great, however, together they are a force to be reckoned with. Some of their scenes required immense emotional depth and vulnerability, which each performer delivered in spades.
The sound design was used well to craft a compelling atmosphere, one that was infused with mystery and threat. On top of this, the #filmmakers used quick editing and shaky-cam sequences to increase the tempo and keep the audience on edge; almost as if the camera’s instability was reflecting Eric’s sense of unbalance. This was most particularly effective in a scene where Eric leaves the family home with a suitcase to find his mother’s car parked nearby.
Kalmeta’s story is a familiar one but he brings a new edge to it. It was nice to see the father-son dynamic play out, with an overly protective patriarch in place of a smothering mother. A scene where they have dinner is beautifully delivered, especially when Harry’s (the father) temper gets the best of him. Once Eric starts to detach himself from his dad and struggles from his clutches, metaphorically speaking, the tone of the film moves from engaging mystery to threatening thriller, and this tonal shift is handled masterfully.
There were moments in the film which were reminiscent of other clever mysteries, like Denis Villeneuve’s 2013 Prisoners, or Ben Affleck’s 2007 movie Gone Baby Gone. Each captured the burning sense of loss and heartbreak that can occur within a family unit and how this can impact the rationality of each character. With Overcast, we are given a potent dose within a 25-minute run time which is immaculately filmed, spectacularly performed, and ultimately incredibly affecting.