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Sea Dragon

average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Apr 15, 2022

Film Reviews
Sea Dragon
Directed by:
James Morgan
Written by:
Lawrie Doran, James Morgan
Kiara Holley Paliano, Harvey Dean, Michael Howe

The black starry with the fossil remains in the background and the white font colour used for the title-Sea dragon as it appears onscreen give the audience an idea about the theme of the short film. The director James Morgan and writer Lawrie Doran work on the script of this period drama to give homage to Mary Anning (Kiara Holley Paliano) and her discoveries.


The plot revolves around a young fossil hunter who attempts to find out more about the mysterious skull that she believed would be beneficial for knowing about the evolution of life on Earth.


Sea Dragon is set in England in 1812. The set design transports the audience to the Era. The costume designer Emily Rose Yiaxis and the hair/makeup artist Simone Philcox dress each character of the narrative aptly thus increasing the degree of audience engagement with the film. The director of photography Clemens Majunke uses the long shot of the sea and the mountains followed by a combination of wide-mid shots to directly dive into the subject matter of the film. The change in lighting is done so efficiently without breaking the continuity of the scene at the time of the switch between the day and night scenes. The filmmaker cleverly uses the close-up shots and the voice modulation to intensify the confrontation between Mary Anning and Mr. Henley and create the required conflict for the smooth movement of the narrative. The dialogue delivery by the entire cast gives a sense of royalty which is in sync with the timeline the movie is set in.


In terms of performance, Kiara Holley Paliano plays the role of Mary Anning is the perfect casting for the part. Kiara portrays the determination of discovering something substantial that would prove to be beneficial for people who have a keen interest in the field of science. The range of emotions calmness, angst, and happiness can be seen on her face. The viewers relate to the central character and enjoy the journey Mary wants to take us on through the film.


Harvey Dean is Joseph Anning who is a very strong support system in Mary's life. The bond between Harvey and Kiara transcends onscreen as well. The contrast between the two siblings is an interesting element of the script and the same is enjoyed by the audience.


Michael Howe as Mr. Henley is strong representation of society in this particular era. Mr. Henley puts hurdles at every step in the way of Mary who is trying to fulfill her dramatic need in the story.


The short film talks about believing in one's dreams and following the heart to pursue the career of one's choice. The drive to achieve the set goal boosts up due to family support. The audience gets to learn a lot from the lead female character to not give-up easily to societal pressure and continuously thrive each day to make a difference in the lives of many. The cinematic piece gives a glimpse of the struggle the English paleontologist had to go through to prove their theories that made our present better.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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