Directed by: #DanDaniel
The word ‘web’ is defined as being ‘a complex system of interconnected elements’ and is of course evocative of the sticky web of a spider that promises certain death for most things that end up entrapped in it. Dan Daniel’s #shortfilm Web tells a tale of neglect, resentment and taboo, which will leave you pondering: who in this story actually ends up trapped in the metaphorical web?
Web focuses on a day in the life of a set of triplets. These siblings aren’t too happy about the new addition to their family: their baby sister, who just. Won’t. Stop. Crying. So, on the day of their birthday, the triplets decide to figure out how to stop the noise.
There is not much dialogue and no duologues at all in this film, which I questioned at the beginning. However, it becomes apparent that no words or discussions are needed; everything you need to know is conveyed via visible behaviour, facial expression and sound. The most prominent sound is the screaming cries of the newborn baby. These cries persist nearly throughout the entirety of the film and result in the feeling of tensions building up, it is similar to the screeches of a kettle rising until it finally reaches maximum boiling point. As the crying continues the viewer’s can feel the sense of desperation and need that the triplets have to get some silence. There are also everyday sounds that occur but some of them, when placed in odd contexts, prove to be quite sickening. In retrospect, it is rather refreshing to have a film that doesn’t rely on voice.
The child actors who portray the triplets gave a brilliant performance; it’s not always easy to effectively convey the thoughts or personality of a character without words, nevertheless Clementine Hill, Badger Skelton and Buddy Skelton were all able to do so with their respective characters. Tam is creative and playful and Sim is inquisitive with an interest in insects. Ben, played by Badger Skelton, is actually the only comprehensible speaker in this cast, which nicely displays his leadership amongst the siblings.
Despite there being hardly any dialogue, there is never a quiet moment thanks to the music produced by Olive Olin. The music is shifting in tune and mood. There are some instrumentals that create a pleasantly light-hearted atmosphere whilst deeper based instrumentals create a sense of impending menace. During one moment of the film, the music of a church’s pipe organ is distorted; which thereby distorts the atmosphere of safety and holiness that was occurring previously. The movement between these moods of music can make you uncertain of which direction the plot is heading towards.
I do commend Dan Daniel on his directing, as well as Liam Hejsak and Henry Owen on their #cinematography, because there were some perfectly executed and diverse shots taken in this film. A few instances of POV (Point of View) shots, which are generally rare to have in films, really immerse the viewer into the story, thus heightening the sense of suspense. In other shots, some aesthetically intriguing imagery was provided, which additionally seemed to be foreshadowing what was to come.
Whilst I wouldn’t say this film is ‘enjoyable’, because it doesn’t allow the audience to feel a sense of ease, there is no denying that the performances, the visuals and the score really made this film a wonderful display of ‘interconnected elements’ coming to life.
Furthermore, I think that one of the things film should force us to do is explore the sides of life that majority of society are sheltered from. Explore the unmentionable.