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The Snakes - Short film review


Directed by: #MichelleBeck

Written by: #MichelleBeck


Set in the near future as it seems with nods to a not so unrealistic Mark Zuckerberg presidency, ‘The Snakes’ focuses on the oppression of the female minority by using a string feministic political news headlines and local kidnappings to drive the protagonist Erica in her emotional journey of where she stands in the rise of feminism.

Director Michelle Beck does a great job of exploring modern feminism in showcasing the day-to-day struggles and insecurities which all women face in this day and age. Beck’s script has little to no discrepancies with a strong structured narrative with a clear act progression through the protagonist discovering the political uprising, her opinions of said uprising and then her actions in accordance with this. The direction of actors seems well aimed by allowing them to pull through their own artistic flare such as Jacob Ming-trents poetic performance on the subway. The blocking of said actors comes across as well constructed rehearsed as is the fluid camera tracking along side some of these moments.

Nona Catusanu’s cinematography is neat bringing the city streets to life with subtle vibrance in an almost constant night-based script. Although the colour temperature changes throughout the dream like cutaways are appreciated, I believe those particular scenes could be emphasised on furthermore with a heavier and dramatic change in cinematography. However, all shots are well executed and successful with plenty of coverage, which as many know, is vital to a successful post-production process. Cecilia Delgado’s editing is fluid and well-constructed adding to the pace of each scene as we journey through the narrative.

The snakes score is at an epic proportion by using the sound of a singing choir to add emphasis to the importance of urgency and drama within the screen. This score could also be seen as using a traditionally horror themed sound from the likes of Richard Donner’s ‘The Omen’ to display how Horrifically unsafe our protagonist and many like her feel in such situations. The sound design is fully capable of building the atmosphere needed for the audience to feel at one with the scenes locations as well as being clearly captured.

The acting is suitable throughout with Patterson’s performance being strong enough to carry her characters emotional thread within the narrative. However, her performance can at times can be lacking the flare to match her characters developing sense of angst and rebellion. The supporting roles from other cast members such as Sargeant and Ming are very strong and help aid Patterson’s performance to an overall satisfactory cast ensemble.

The cutaway scenes from the protagonist’s imagination serves as an unnecessary element to the film. This is not because it doesn’t add anything to the characters development but simply because it doesn’t add enough. The scenes in my view should be darker and more extreme in capturing Erica’s deepest desires as well as matching the darkness of its climax. Although it is clear that the filmmakers are aiming to send a social message to unite people to fight against misogyny, the climax in my opinion seems too dark and perhaps the wrong message to send into a political and social issue. However, I understand that it is not my place to question nor argue the political standpoint of the filmmakers, even if I do agree with its core message. The main issue with this climax is that there was no factual evidence that the driver is the antagonist she believes him to be and yet herself and others proceed to resort to violence to find their justice. This issue could be resolved simply by adding a small glimpse of evidence to suggest the driver’s involvement and therefor giving Erica the correct and moral motivation to carry out the following actions.

In conclusion, the filmmakers of ‘the snake’ have accomplished a well-formed piece with a strong message to back it up. Director and writer Michelle Beck should be extremely proud of this piece and its success in translating its message to rise up against misogyny.



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