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average rating is 4 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Sep 13, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Dom Lee
Written by:
Dom Lee, Heather Ross
Elizabeth Hill, Alec Hopkins

The writer-director Dom Lee along with Heather Ross beautifully showcases the emotional co-dependence between two strangers Jos (Alec Hopkins) and Maz (Elizabeth Hill) to achieve a bigger goal in the future.


The plot of Croak revolves around a disgraced Television presenter who forms a pact with a desperate stranger hoping to get some relief from the situation they are in.


The film opens with a close-up shot of the female protagonist and a voice-over playing in the background while she is waiting at the train station helps the audience understand her on a deeper level as well as establishes the subject matter it wants to discuss. The creative team has smartly used snow/ice to convey the coldness, and absence of love in the lives of Jos and Maz and how hard both of them are trying to dissolve all their fears as well as problems. 

A well-written small conversation between various characters is a smart way to portray the dynamics giving the viewers freedom to interpret the film. The black, white, and grey colours utilised for the colour palette, set design, camera angles, lighting, sound, dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, and props add a sense of realism and relatability thus increasing the degree of audience engagement with the content of Croak.


In terms of performance, Elizabeth Hill plays Maz who is traumatised by bad past experiences both professionally and personally. She loves to find peace by remembering her family but there are a lot of people who don’t let her forget the horrifying incidents. The senior actress showcases her versatile acting skills as Hill balances effectively between being emotional and strong as per the demand of the script.

Alec Hopkins plays Jos who is a desperate troubled young man who is a part lament and part mysterious to the audience because of estranged family ties. Maz becomes the source of hope and thus he agrees to the deal she offers. Hopkins displays the range of emotions brilliantly utilising body language, voice modulation, facial expressions, and eyes to communicate the roller coaster journey Jos has in the film which is inspirational for the viewers.


Croak talks about the impact that past event tends to leave on one’s life but we should often try to make our present more beautiful so that one can heal and the happiness transcends to their loved ones too. 

The short film reiterates the importance of valuing life at every juncture and not opting for suicide no matter how difficult it gets. The dramatic piece highlights the importance of the role of destiny, communication, trust, memories, and emotions in pushing and pulling people through all their hard times. The cinematic piece also restates that sharing grief/pain with someone can be beneficial for everyone.


To conclude, I would like to appreciate Dom Lee and his team for experimenting with various genres and providing the variety in their work that viewers want and also handling everything so subtly that the movies tend to stay with the audience even after they have finished watching them. 

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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