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A Tree Fell Today

average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Oct 19, 2022

Film Reviews
A Tree Fell Today
Directed by:
Oliver Crawford
Written by:
Oliver Crawford , Rob King
Olivia Popica, Kathryn O Reilly, Jordan Alexandra

The word Tree in the title of the short film- A Tree Fell Today has the connotation of life, growth, wisdom, power, and prosperity. The writer-director Oliver Crawford wants to spread awareness about mental health and also give a key message of protecting the precious life and prosperity from being lost forever with the help of the tale of Elise (Olivia Popica) and Jessica (Jordan Alexandra).


The plot of the cinematic piece revolves around Elise who revisits her traumatic memories of Jessica her lover committing suicide due to the catastrophic death of their child. She struggles to escape the eternal circle of anguish and misery. She tries to move forward but she is stuck in an endless loop.


The cinematographer David Bird establishes the subject matter of the film by utilizing the mid-shot to introduce Dr.Sarah Jeane Jackson (Kathryn O Reilly) who unfolds the narrative slowly to hook the audience to the film from the very beginning. A series of extreme close-up shots, close-up shots mid shots are used to provide an insight into the central character's past. The black dark greenish colour palette for the film is perfect to showcase the degree of emotionally challenging it can become to deal with the extreme negativity that comes with a bad incident. The set design, costume, makeup, and hair complement the mood of the storyline and uplift the screenplay so that the audience can relate to and learn from the movie.


In terms of performance, Olivia Popica plays Elise who wants to deal with her tormenting past by attending sessions of therapy so that she gradually overcomes this in the future. Popica effectively portrays the pain of losing loved ones. The body language and expressions showcase the constant fight between the head and heart when the narrative moves to the flashbacks. The actress depicts the helplessness and guilt with so much honesty that it forces the audience to feel bad for all her suffering.

Jordan Alexandra plays the role of Jessica who is trying to combat depression with the love and support from Elise. Alexandra understands the nuances of the character and illustrates different shades of Jessica's life with utmost conviction and thus allowing the viewers to learn from her.


A Tree Fell Today talks about the need for effective communication among the loved-ones when it comes to issues like mental health, self-harm and infant death. The short film discusses the importance of asking for help rather than suffering in solitude. The cinematic piece reiterates the fact that one cannot run away from their past and the best way to deal with the same is to face it. The creative piece restates that the pain of losing one's child is very hurtful and can prove detrimental to both physical and mental health. The film talks about not merely following the stereotypes related to depression but spending some time researching and understanding that mental illness experiences can be different for everyone and we should give respect it give the person space to deal with it.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film, LGBTQ+
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