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Letting Go

average rating is 2 out of 5


Chris Olson


Posted on:

Sep 1, 2022

Film Reviews
Letting Go
Directed by:
Olivia Medrano
Written by:
Olivia Medrano
Allison O'Connor, Allison Chobanian, Caleb Oyelowo, Sullivan Smith

A coming-of-age short, filmmaker Olivia Medrano’s Letting Go captures the rose-tinted glory days of youth through a series of happy yet threatless beach scenes that regrettably leave no impression in the sand.

A group of friends head to the beach and the jams kick in. The montage of them enjoying the location in beautiful sunny weather feels like a scenario from decades ago whereby a friend would have acquired a digital camera and decided to film their mates on a day out. The lack of characterisation or plot keeps this piece as thin as a postcard and with the music becoming the absolute main feature - the short film becomes essentially a music video. The final section of Letting Go does give us a bit of story, comparing the changing of life to surfing, however, it’s too little too late by then.

If viewed as a mood piece, there are certainly plenty of audience members out there who will connect with the vibe of this movie. It has all the classic trappings of the “end-of-an-era” style flick: the group of kids on the verge of adulthood, the endless horizon of the ocean representing their future, and the soundtrack which does a lot more heavy lifting than in other genres. As a young filmmaker, Medrano should be commended for her ability to capture the essence of this time in a young person’s life, if not in a full-bodied storyline at least in some of the aesthetics she achieves.

From a filmmaking perspective, Letting Go has plenty of rough edges that would be unfair to shine a spotlight on. The editing could certainly be improved as could the sound - with only a few bits of dialogue it seems a shame they are quite hard to hear against the music - but there is an energy and passion to the flow which certainly achieves the aforementioned coming-of-age film feel.

If the film had added a few minutes of story before the characters arrived at the beach, helping us to ground the viewer in who these people are and why we should care about them, it would have gone a long way in creating more depth and enjoyment. As it is, the film feels like a student assignment that got exported into a MOV file before anyone had the chance to proof it.

Hats off to the artist of the main song though, an absolute banger.

About the Film Critic
Chris Olson
Chris Olson
Short Film
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