Directed by: #AvibrataChanda
Written by: #BenjaminRider
A woman (Sarah-Jane Savage) enters a room where she is greeted by an unknown force in this enigmatic short thriller.
The Red Whispers (2020) is directed by Avibrata Chanda, who has also made a handful of other short films and written by Benjamin Rider, who has won and been nominated for numerous awards for feature length films. The short is an English language production released in the United Arab Emirates and published on the YouTube channel ‘Short Films’.
The film has an intriguing premise with a mysterious voice uncovering a terrible truth to the lead through a suspenseful lens, but ultimately comes across as a little lost in its motives and execution. The opening credits are certainly a positive start to the short, however, with a visually pleasing colourful aesthetic and artistic transitions as well as high quality photography of the lead drawing interest. The cinematography by Faheem Naqvi and direction are also admirable for the small space featured in a room and bathroom, with a variety of diverse shots establishing the setting well and maintaining a sense of engagement. There are also effective uses of slow motion to compliment this, building tension as we are slowly introduced to the mystery at play.
Although underdeveloped due to the short length of the film, Sarah-Jane as the lead expresses a grounded, down to earth character who she makes likeable by her natural line delivery. She also voices the speaker that lures the woman into the room, which does have its charm, but the typical cliché ‘evil’ voice does bring the intended dramatic moments down. Savage plays the shock well when she discovers a dark truth about a family member, yet the lack of development and information given in regard to character and story unfortunately results in a mystery which was not well utilised and leads to a lack of emotional investment.
On a positive side, Ana Maria Oancea’s score matches the pacing of the film’s slow build up well, with some chilling high pitched strings and dark ambient sounds creating suspense. There are also some good emotional pieces, capturing the drama which is arguably not as well realised in the set up.
The Red Whispers is a well-intentioned piece with an intriguing story and compelling direction with a personable performance from its lead, but its ambition and lack of clarity lets it down. The film may have benefitted from a longer running time to develop its lead and story, but there are certainly strong elements in here that make for an admirable effort!
The Red Whispers (2020) Short Film: