Directed by Emil T. Jonsson
Starring Per Ragnar, Emil T. Jonsson
Short Film Review by Monica Jowett
Swedish short film The Best of Intentions follows the story of a father who suspects his daughter’s caregiver is abusing her, and how he plans to confront the man. The dramatic thriller, directed by Emil Jonsson and co-written by Jonsson and Björn Boström, packs a lot into its 13 minutes run time that leaves you thinking about jumping to conclusions without all the facts.
The film stars Per Ragnar as the father Kjell, and Jonsson as Jocke the caregiver, both of whom provide stunning yet understated performances. The audience is given subtle indications just through their expressions or slight inflection in their voice. Kjell keeps his anger at Jocke simmering just under the surface of his polite demeanour, and it puts you on edge guessing when he might break and do something worse. Opposite him is Jocke, who also manages to keep his calm, but in a completely different way as he keeps his cool when up against some horrid accusations.
The Best of Intentions proves to be an exceptional first short film for Jonsson in the themes it tackles of judgement and how easily it can be taken over by emotions. It explores the dangers of even the simplest of misunderstandings and the irrational thought which stems from them, through the nuanced acting, clever dialogue and the sombre cinematography.
The thrill and drama of the short film derives more from the implied and subtle hints in the conversation between Kjell and Jocke, and symbolism used within the frame. Cinematographer for the film Gabriel Mkrttchian uses long, lingering shots of mundane objects or the simplistic set, over-the-shoulder shots combined with close ups, and off-centred framing to further enhance this emotional and gripping story, as the audience can immediately ascertain that everything is not what it seems, simply from the way it appears to us.
This is the sort of film that stays with you, not least because of the subject matter of moral dilemmas, but also the music, performances and the way the film captures the viewer into the story through the small set. It will be interesting to see where Emil goes next with his filmmaking choices.
Watch the official Movie Trailer for The Best of Intentions below...