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Purely Cosmetic Short Film Review

★★★

Directed by: #GabrielBrown



 

Purely Cosmetic exposes the behind-the-scenes moments for an actress who has finally made her West End debut. Unfortunately, all is not as it is portrayed to be for this shining star. Instead of glitz, glam and fame, the audience are shown a much darker side to the lifestyle and focuses on the internal thoughts of our young actress. This short film shows us the side to acting and fame which we are shielded away from, the side which does not show the immense pressure and mental preparation it takes to perform in front of a live audience every night. Director Gabriel Brown depicts this moment and uncovers a new perspective behind the bright lights and big stage.


Purely Cosmetic is filmed in black and white which gave the piece a melancholic and emotional quality, almost reflecting the mental state of the actress and strengthened this theme of fear and doubt that was being echoed throughout. As the young actress admires the cards she has received from friends and family over her big break, she looks at herself in the mirror and instead of happiness we are greeted with doubt and worry painted across her face. As the film goes on, her worry turns into tears and pain which she can no longer hold back. This immense feeling overpowers her and is clear these thoughts are of uncertainty. There is no dialogue within this short film just raw emotion and facial expressions, and its amazing what can be interpreted from just facial cues alone. However, it would have been interesting to have some of these internal thoughts exposed, perhaps if the character spoke directly to herself in the mirror, it would have added another layer to the story and helped to create a more open character.


This short was a simple storyline but did convey a lot through just pure acting, movement, emotion, and facial expressions. This is a clever short film that focuses on what it is to be human, to feel all these negative thoughts and to go through those insecure moments even when you are seen as a big star. It highlights that everyone has these low episodes behind closed doors and struggle to be confident all the time. However, it was interesting to see that transition from a lack of confidence to put on a brave face for the crowd. The audience witnessed that transformation as the actress began to breathe deeply and apply her make-up. These moments might not be for everyone to see; however, they are very real and honest and Purely Cosmetic captures that vulnerability seamlessly.

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