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Pastiche - Short Film Review

★★★★

Directed by: #ShivaanMakker

 

Trigger warning: this review mentions graphic violence.

Poster for Pastiche

After a home invasion, a depressed father must save his family, or they'll be premiered in the prime time news.


Radiating from the chaotic energy in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (referenced in the film’s poster), Shivaan Makker’s troubling house invasion short, Pastiche, is a twisted look at violence and how it can be both pleasurable and painful for those that are involved in such acts. Recovering from being fired from his job for seemingly slacking and looking up disturbing news on the internet, a depressed father (Nick DeMatteo) returns home to a grim scene. His son has been brutally murdered and he and his wife are now captives of a crazy duo that want only fame for their violent crimes.


There’s always been experimentation with how much violence can be shown in cinema; from close-realism to beyond ridiculous Tarantino bucket-like blood spurts. Most of the time it’s shown in a way that bridges between the real world and a cinematic one. In Pastiche, visionary filmmaker Shivaan Makker aims for the more exaggerated approach. Opening with little background on the Goodwell family, Pastiche plants viewers straight into a frenzy of heightened chaos. From the flimsy and energetic performances to the crisp, gory imagery, this film crosses from a grounded home invasion to an ever-escalating fever dream. A nightmare that continuously gets worse and worse.


But it’s that keen interest from Makker to portray such acts as ‘playtime’ (like A Clockwork Orange) that makes Pastiche absolutely worth your time. Sadistic as it is energetic, depressing as it is weirdly intriguing, his approach to minimal storytelling with importance on action is sensational. Though it’s grimy and horrid to watch, it’s strangely exciting and creative. It’s clear how Makker is inspired from the classic era of cinema; Kubrick’s mark is visible in his style and execution. Even though the budget makes for a rough-edged film, and the sound mix battles the ears a little too heavy, the creative flow is fully present and it’s inspiring.


I’d certainly avoid Pastiche if you’re squeamish; this is not for the faint of heart. All the senses are attacked by sound, visual and feeling. From the perfect cinematography, to the biting score by Pierre Vaucher and Ryan Wood, this is an unrewarding and unrelenting depiction of graphic violence that will surely stick with you after the credits have rolled. There really isn’t much to it beyond that, so be warned if you venture into the home of the Goodwell’s…


Watch the trailer for Pastiche below.

 

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