Moment of Truth
27 Dec 2021
Pavel Shatu, Lea Pfandler
Masha King, Pavel Shatu, John Fuentes
A film noir crime film about a woman who is looking to get even with the people who murdered her sister.
The plot centres around a young woman (King) who had a young sister whose husband (Fuentes) got involved with a dangerous cult that ended up having her sister killed. Seeking justice for her loss and knowing that she herself is in danger, she goes to a private detective (Shatu) for help and comes up with a very risky plan that will involve putting her life on the line in order to catch the villains.
This is a dark murder-revenge story that pays homage to the film noir genre. With terrific cinematography by Kevin Barber, the majority of the viewing takes place in black-and-white and has scenes that are in colour. The film begins in black-and-white and while this lasts, the atmosphere feels dark and menacing and the use of colour takes place after a crucial plot point happens, therefore the arrival of colour could mean that things are going to be better from now on.
There a numerous elements here that belong to the film noir. A protagonist whose life is in danger, murderous individuals, murder, revenge, treachery. There is drama, grief, the constant threat of death and the longing for justice. The mise-en-scene includes locations with limited lighting, a cemetery and interesting clothing. The main topic is one vulnerable person going up against people who could destroy her at any time and there is a message that suggests that it is the smartest one who wins.
The story is told through the heroine's pespective and there are no spoken words, apart from King's voice-over that is heard throughout and effectively describes the events in the narrative, her situation and feelings and helps the audience understand how much she is suffering from the loss of her sister, how frightened she is and how much she wants justice and safety. Since none of the characters actually speak, the protagonists rely on their facial expressions and body language in order to communicate their emotions and they do so very well. King in particular is quite emotional as a woman who has found herself in a life-threatening situation.
The score is a very strong quality and it includes Jazz music that significantly sets the mood and provides a film noir feeling. The editing is creative and includes match cut and dissolve techniques. Credit also goes to the stylized letters during the opening and closing credits.
This short will almost certainly appeal to fans of film noir. With strong acting, an intriguing plot, wonderful score and splendid cinematography, it takes the audience on quite a journey.