Written and Directed by: Joshua Eley Starring: Steve James Moore, Tabitha Lois Cox, Daniella Faircloth, Connor Richardson, Oliver Rogers, Joseph Tedder, Lauren McClelland Short Film Review: by Chris Olson
With its central character suffering from a kind of agoraphobia, short film View, written and directed by Joshua Eley, takes time to explore its story’s themes of fear, violence, and redemption using a claustrophobic filmmaking aesthetic and intense drama.
Arthur (Steve James Moore) starts the short film View as a man too timid to answer the door to the food delivery guy. Inside his flat, we see a man living life inside his shell, avoiding unnecessary human contact, and even taking his rubbish out like a bin ninja. Through fractured flashbacks we see glimpses of his past and suggestions of why he is acting this way, but in his present, Arthur is forced into a moral dilemma after witnessing an event which will test his hermit capabilities to the max.
Told with an uneasy balance between heavy dramatic themes and an introspective human journey, the most successful parts of Joshua Eley’s View are the intrigue created around Arthur. His antisocial behavior and avoidance of human beings is served up with wonderful mystery, creating a palpable tension as the audience craves to discover the original source. Regrettably the plot veers off into a quick resolution and unsatisfying theatrics. Had the short stayed the course of a more fascinating humanity piece, the results could have been pretty impressive.
That being said, Eley's short film does have some workable and enjoyable content. The framing of Arthur in his flat was particularly well done, as was the layering of audio during the scenes where he listens to his self-help book. I enjoyed the score for the most part, feeling that the final sequence at the kitchen sink let the side down by becoming like a light hearted television programme rather than an impactful piece of cinema. Moore's performance is also very strong, relying on his physicality more than line delivery, which suited the tone of the short.
View works well from an indie cinema point of view, especially because it utilises minimal locations and really gets the most out of them, and also because there is limited dialogue to spoil the engaging atmosphere being created around the central character by giving amateur actors lots of bulky dialogue and exposition. Instead, Eley takes a more unburdened approach, and the film is all the more efficient and effective for it.
Forgiving the limp second half of the plot, this is a short film to be commended for its intelligent approach and noble thematic discussions. Eley proves himself to be a thoughtful filmmaker, and with the right script could prove to be a serious talent.
Watch the official movie trailer for View below.