Written Directed by Matthew Mahler
Starring Timothy.J.Cox, John Mahler and Maggie Kurth
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
What are some of people’s biggest fears? Spiders, flying, crab people?...well as common as those are you may be interested to find out that the fear of losing a loved one and the fear of being alone rank close to the top... more than crab people.
I have to admit, they are both two things that I fear the most, we as humans need to be social, need companionship and interaction, and without it we risk our mental health declining at a rapid rate, in short, society and interaction keep us sane.
Well Mahler decides that this is something to explore in his new short To Be Alone, which follows the story of a middle aged man who lives alone and appears to be slowly losing his grip on reality.
Played by Timothy. J .Cox [who has worked with Mahler on previous projects] our leading man is filling his time with a construction project as well as bible reading and Christian television shows, doing anything it seems to ignore the loneliness he feels.
But as we progress further into this short we are soon to discover he is not only struggling with his isolation, but with his grief and of course, loss.
To Be Alone is without any dialogue for the majority of its running time, but Cox does a superb job of conveying his emotions throughout, we feel everything he is going through, from his connection to god, to his intense need to outrun his grief, his compelling acting skills carry this film, making it easy to not notice the fact that there is not script for the most part.
This film relies heavily on surroundings to create a sense of atmosphere, as I said this short is mainly without a script, but Mahler tackles this head on, providing a background that promotes these emotions throughout.
Our character spends a lot of time outside, against a cruel and chilling snowy backdrop, with wide shots that dwarf our lead role, heightening the loneliness as well as the harsh elements he is facing, he is alone, wild and defenceless against his grief, and we sit helplessly only wanting to reach out and give this fella a hug and a cup of coco.
Devastatingly beautiful and moving, short film To Be Alone is something that will stick in your mind for a long time to come.