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average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

May 25, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Michael B. Clifford
Written by:
Geoff Thompson
Luke F Dejahang, Sarah Ridgeway, Wil Johnson

An aspiring writer struggles to deal with his unhappy and unstable wife.


The heroe of this short is Bardo (Dejahang), the titular character. Bardo is a family man, he practices karate and works in a sawmill and as a bouncer, however he has a dream and that is to become a writer. Unfortunately, things are not good at home, as his partner Hecuba (Ridgeway) has a drinking problem and is cruel towards him and their son.


Bardo makes quite an intriguing character. Played dramatically by Dejahang, he is a man who loves writing whenever he gets the chance, telling stories to his friends and taking karate lessons with an instructor (Johnson) who is a no-nonsense and wise type when it comes to giving lessons. Bardo is a likeable, friendly, clever and hard-working guy and he is constantly writing in a notebook, which he believes is the work that will kick-start his career. The most negative thing in his life appears to be Hecuba, who could be classified as the antagonist, a cold individual who disapproves of her partner's ambition to become a writer and her harsh behaviour brings Bardo and their child down.


Interestingly, Ridgeway plays two characters in this film: Hecuba and Anne Marie, a fellow student at the karate classes. Why is this? What is the significance of this? Is Hecuba's appearance true and Anne Marie's is fake or vice versa? Bardo seems to be the only who sees these two people with the same face, therefore one plausible assumption could be that the character of Anne Marie is the kind of person that Bardo would want his partner to be: a kind, helpful and caring woman.


A lot of praise goes to Ridgeway's performance, effectively portraying two people with very different personalities. Her acting skills are more evident in Hecuba, particularly when that character gives a dramatic monologue, expressing her unhappiness.


A short and powerful film that has at its core a damaged relationship and the idea of pursuing dreams. By combining these two, the film creates a painful story about struggles and depression, however one that is not without hope for better things to come. The strong acting is one of the highest qualities, along with David Cawley's beautiful cinematography and Tuomas Kantelinen's dramatic score.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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