8 Sept 2021
Dane Oliver, Melanie Abernathy, Chase Blanchard
A troubled man struggles to remember the relationship he had with a woman.
A man (Oliver) is alone inside a messy household, with limited lighting. He appears to be upset and confused and goes through pictures of him with a young woman named Ava (Abernathy). It is indicated that he is in the apartment he used to share with Ava when they were together and he now cannot recall what led to their breakup and is suffering as a result. He watches a VHS tape containing home video footage of her, apparently interacting with a man named Oliver, who is believed to be the name of the protagonist. As he tries harder and harder to bring back his memories, he seems to be gradually losing his sanity.
This short is a dark psychological thriller that takes the viewer into the mind of a very unstable individual. The narrative plays a lot with his memories and appears to be leaving it up to the audience to decide what is real and what is not, sort of like a David Lynch film. The film leaves more questions than answers and it does so in a great way, leaving the viewer intrigued.
Kalmeta is rather creative with the editing and makes interesting use of fast cutting and match cuts. The film contains several sequences that repeatedly cut between a shot of something and an identical shot that shows the same thing, but during a different period. For instance, there is a shot of a window, through which there is a bright, sunny day and then it cuts to the same shot, only this time it is night-time and there is rain. Another interesting editing technique involves a sequence that cuts between a closeup of the man's face and a shot Ava sitting at a table during a flashback. As they both speak, the film keeps cutting from one to the other, creating the illusion that they are having a conversation in real time.
Oliver is convincing as a broken man who appears to be going through tough times and does not appear to know what is happening to him. Abernathy and Blanchard do a good job with their roles.
Isaiah Walk does an amazing job with the cinematography, developing a downbeat feeling that goes well with the story. There are many parts throughout the film where the image goes to and from out of focus and by doing so it seems to be blending reality with fiction.
The score is a contribution by Caleb Allen Parker and it sounds dramatic and haunting, creating a dark and sinister atmosphere. Makeup artist Lucy Navarrette also deserves credit, with the realistic injury work done on Oliver's face.
Echoes is a sinister journey into the life of a disturbed person. The narrative makes the audience act as a detective and pick up the pieces and attempt to put them together in order to solve the puzzle that the film creates.