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Solvi: The Director's Cut short film review

★★★★

Directed by: Joseph Archer

Written by: Jack Price

Starring: Sarah Lott, Harry Duff-Walker, Sophie Caplan, Jamie Carter, Lewis Cox

 
Poster for Solvi showing characters.
Poster for Solvi

A brutal medieval tale about a group of people trying to survive repeated attacks by savages.


A warrior and her Danish travellers have settled in a Christian village, during the Anglo-Saxons age. Although they seek peace and harmony, they live under the constant threat of being victims of raids by Vikings. As people in their community proceed to be murdered one-by-one, tensions rise between them, leaving them unable to trust each other and defend themselves when the time comes.


This dramatic swashbuckling short puts the audience in the shoes of individuals who are stuck in desperate situations. There is the constant fear of death and treachery, as the villagers proceed to lose faith in each other and start to doubt everyone's credibility. A devastating battle takes place, people are killed and everything falls apart. It is not all about death though, as there are also emotional scenes.


The mise-en-scene looks very good, with the costumes, hairstyle, weaponry and buildings looking rather genuine. The makeup is also quite effective.


The performances are generally rather impressive from all of the cast. Every actor is convincing as a person living in that era and have been through a lot. The characters are interesting, particularly Solvi, who is strong and determined to do the right thing and makes the audience root for her.


The fantastic score adds great qualities. The music is dynamic and dramatic, creating feelings of danger and despair and listening to it helps bring the audience back to those times.


The cinematography is black-and-white, providing a dark atmosphere. There are short montages that make fruitful use of fast cutting techniques and the serious narration sounds appropriate given the plot.


This period action-drama is entertaining and moving and deserves a great deal of praise and recognition. It is a journey back to the medieval ages, with an intriguing story filled with sword fighting, death, courage and survival.

 

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