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average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Mar 11, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Marlene Emilia Rios
Written by:
Marlene Emilia Rios
Rosella Doda, Jo Shirley, Brad Johnson

Heathens are people who do not belong to one of the main worlds/ religions. The color chosen for the title of the short film is pink which has connotations that the female protagonist is busy looking for her identity as she cannot relate to her surroundings. The writer-director Marlene Emilia Rios builds up a very intriguing screenplay for the film with the help of various elements like Camera angles, lighting, costume, music, makeup, and hair. The blood shown in various scenes further intensifies the thrill factor in the narrative. The central character fiddles with her ring while she thinks about her life thus increasing the degree of engagement of the audience with the short film.


The storyline of the film revolves around a woman who gets to know about her husband's secret affairs and looks for revenge from him. She includes one of his mistresses in her plan. Will she be able to do so is to be found out at the end of the cinematic piece?


The DOP HSIEN YU NUI uses flashbacks, mid-shot of the main character followed by the camera quickly panning into her face has connotations that the wife already knows about his affairs from the very start of the film and is just waiting to get a solid proof against him to take revenge from her husband. The music given by Travis Kirby as the title flashes onscreen is upbeat so that it excites the audience to delve into the plot to find out more about the story. The music softens a little in scenes where the protagonist plans out her next move. The switch in the lighting and color palette of the film according to the mood of the scenes in the movie helps keep the narrative together and thus the audience eagerly waits for the climax of the creative piece. The set design of the short film is a combination of subtle and loud as per the demand from the director of the film. The "love" and "Power" written on the wall are all lit up suggesting that Marlene is looking into the importance of these two elements from the perspective of all the three characters in the plot.


"Heathens" is a female-driven short film. It has two very well- written characters that are strong. Both these women support each other to reach the decision which proves to be very significant for the conclusion of the film. Brad Johnson plays the role of the husband; he effortlessly portrays various shades of the character required in different stages of the narrative.


This short film has several life lessons hidden in it. Any relationship in life should be based on love, trust, and mutual understanding between the two partners. Being a man one does not get the right to be disloyal towards the spouse in a marriage set up. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of one person to keep the wedding healthy. There should be always a sense of regard and admiration for one another.


About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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