14 May 2022
Mila Borich, Matthew Intil
What can be said in the space of two minutes? It’s barely enough time to write, send and receive a message on Twitter. A film review would probably take longer to read, but time is precious and if we use it properly we can make every second count. A coherent and surprising message can be gleaned from ‘Expression’. Written and directed by Kyle Briot the focus falls on a young woman (Mila Boric) who is apparently receiving counsel from the professional (Matthew Intil). The young woman falters as she speaks of her past, while the professional listens patiently coaxing more from the interviewee.
For the first 90 seconds we are convinced the young woman is troubled and searching for answers. But then in one swift movement the narrative changes tone and emphasis. It’s a particularly good example of misdirection that convinces the viewer they know what’s going on. Curiously there are clues to its true purpose in the opening frames, but will only become obvious once the film is finished. With such a limited timeframe greater reliance is placed on gestures, mannerisms and body language. But the film delivers an impressive punchline that was totally unexpected.
The film is actually only 110 seconds long as it loses the last 10 to accommodate the closing credits. It therefore becomes an even more notable achievement to incorporate that level of detail and still deliver a compelling finale. With such limited screen time available the director’s task is even more onerous. Kyle Briot deserves much credit for pulling it off with such confidence and brio.