The Night Before the Morning After - Short Film Review

★★

Written & Directed by: #DavidBradburn

Starring: #MouzamMakkar, #ShannonBrown, #SuzetteBrown, #JenBuhrow, #LindaBrightClay

Short Film Review by Taryll Baker

Poster for The Night Before the Morning After

Unaware of her past, Anne's friends do their best to help her get over a failed relationship. When the pressure becomes too much, Anne's repressed traumas explode in a cathartic moment where she makes a choice that is both horrific and heroic.


Bradburn’s The Night Before the Morning After is a short drama that follows Anne (Mouzam Makkar), a woman who faces trauma from a previous relationship, as she is pressured into navigating a love-life once more by her eager friends. As the night continues, her emotions creep up on her and a revelation strikes with a bittersweet ending. This clunky film written and directed by Bradburn takes an interesting approach to short storytelling, in the sense that it feels like the beginnings of something bigger worth delving into, rather than a secluded story with a neat bookend.


The opening spends 3 minutes introducing the location of the party, before getting to the characters; so this feels like time wasted that could have otherwise been spent on more important matters. It’s almost like the pilot of a TV show, but a very short one. By the time the characters are established, the meat of the film has around 10 minutes to explore the ideas introduced, which is a little tight but manageable, except not for The Night Before the Morning After. Struggling to find its feet practically throughout the runtime, it’s difficult to be interested in the goings on of Anne and her friends. The film holds onto some gruelling experience that embeds trauma in a person, but doesn’t really take a deeper dive into that. Even when the big turn of events comes, it isn’t exactly clear how it happened. The “why?” is quite obvious, but the “how?” is missing which leads to a fairly unsatisfying climax, if you could call it that.


The performance are decent from the main and supporting cast. Makkar does a well enough job with the script she’s been dealt, and the same goes for Shannon Brown. The writing makes most of the dialogue just feel awkward and plain. The direction is slighter better; the way characters are placed in scenes is good, though it still feels as if these actors were clutched a little too tightly without much room to breathe into their characters. All around, this is a well-made film, but not a very rewarding one.


With an interesting concept of repressed trauma, The Night Before the Morning After had the potential to be something more, but what we’re given is essentially a short glance at a character who has some issues. We don’t see or hear much about these issues in flashbacks, and therefore the main story at hand feels totally uninviting and paper thin.


- #TaryllBaker