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average rating is 3 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Oct 11, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Harvey Kadijk
Written by:
Harvey Kadijk
Aristo Mijnals, Jihane El Fahidi, Alice Varela Monteiro

In Dutch film-maker Harvey Kadijk’s new short film, Lost it is his protagonist, Dalo (Mijnals) who can’t seem to find his way. If anything it feels as though Dalo is a little lost in time as the film follows a non-linear path to tell us his story.


Waking up one morning Dalo is faced with some big news from his partner, Sarah (El Fahidi). A quick cut to how Dalo later on reacts to this news, although not much later on because he’s still in his pants and his t-shirt, lets us know that the narrative is going to be a little jumpy and that the meaning of the film will only be revealed to us once Dalo and Sarah’s relationship has been rounded out a little more.


We watch as Dalo and Sarah get loved up, both in the present with some gorgeous cinematography from Jeffrey H Bakker focusing on a series of intimate close-ups, and in the past which is telegraphed by differing hairstyles and a switch to camera mode where we’re made to watch in vertical screen with about 80% of the picture given to an out of focus background like you see on the news. It’s difficult to tell whether this stylistic trick is smart or not as it most definitely adds a layer of authenticity to the flashback, keeping Dalo’s memories firmly locked in the past in the only medium with which he can access them, but it is likely to annoy purists of cinema and those who like to watch a full screen as most of what’s being shown becomes visually pointless.


Luckily the flashback scenes don’t suffer too much from this stylistic choice as they are short and almost narratively pointless, too, only offering a small window into the relationship in a specific time and place, between the fluttering of ribbons where new love has sprung, almost like a much derided scene in that classic love story, Pearl Harbor (2001).


Soon we find that Dalo really is lost and we get large inferences as to why that is. The way that Kadijk handles the shift in the narrative at two very distinct points is very clever and beautifully done. At all times we feel that this is Dalo’s story but never at any point do we feel that we can encompass all that he has experienced. This is again to Kadijk’s credit as we couldn’t possibly expect to understand everything that Dalo has gone through in a very short ten minutes, only that we can take in enough to share his most important thoughts, feelings and impressions which have remained with him throughout.


Both Aristo Mijnals’ performance as Dalo and Jihane El Fahidi’s presentation of Sarah shine through from the screen to bring their characters to life. It is obvious that this is a fairly personal film for Kadijk and the two leads understand instinctively how to bring this across to the viewer in the short time that they have. Unfortunately though, the story just doesn’t go very far and the time wasted on supposedly getting to know the characters just isn’t time well spent. Despite being only ten minutes long and including several different time-frames, Lost seems just that as it plods along at a pedestrian pace, allowing the viewer to ask themselves if there wasn’t a more involved way to tell this very personal and inherently emotive story.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film, World Cinema
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