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Tracy - short film review


Directed by: #AsherLines

Written by: Asher Lines


Poster of the film. The title character is turned and we see her profile. On top of the picture the title of the film is written in pink, below it there are the words: "death, deceit, desperation. Yet somehow still a comedy"

Written and directed by Asher Lines, Tracy follows the title character, a recent widow whose whimsical ways are merely ways of coping with the death of her husband, Sam. The dynamic created by Lines is intriguing, especially as the main character seems to be both grounded in reality but also completely away from it. Tracy’s tragic actions – visiting her husband’s grave whilst still pretending he is alive, cooking dinner for two and having two-sided conversations – are painted as comic through the film’s use of its apparatus.

Tracy starts as a fun, light-hearted film, with an upbeat soundtrack contrasting with static shots from a cemetery. It soon becomes clear that the film supports Tracy’s eccentricity, and even encourages her whilst inviting us to find her behaviour amusing if not normal. Moreover, the cinematography and editing, which are fast-paced and dynamic, help to establish this diegetic normality. On the downside, the hyper accentuated diegetic and extra-diegetic sounds can be too much at times, as well as the camera movements (especially the panoramic shots during a conversation scene). It seems, perhaps, that this is the way the filmmakers have chosen to convey Tracy’s fun but insufferable ways and how the other characters perceive her chaotic life.

The film, however, slows down when Tracy receives hard news. Sam’s parents announce that they will move their son’s ashes from the cemetery, putting a stop at Tracy’s made-up life and bringing her back to reality, though not without some resistance. Much like before, the cinematic elements follow Tracy’s change – the soundtrack, the pace of the film, her depiction and even her interactions with others become ‘more normal’. Her life becomes more bleak, but not completely dull or sad. She encounters a man with whom she has a conversation and the film embraces the possibility of a normal life for Tracy.

Still from the film. The frame shows the main character watching tv (but we can't see the tv). She is wearing a checked top and has ginger hair.

Lines is creative when building the protagonist and her world, and most importantly, when deciding how to depict both of them. As mentioned, the film changes together with the protagonist and although it can be perceived as too much at times, it nevertheless helps to convey the character’s innermost feelings, as intriguing and eccentric as they are.



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