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Sisyphus Unbound

average rating is 5 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Dec 22, 2023

Film Reviews
Sisyphus Unbound
Directed by:
Ryan Fleming
Written by:
Ryan Fleming
Timothy J Cox, Frederick J Todd, Emerson Adamsss

The writer-director Ryan Fleming showcases the nuances of the dynamics between students and professors and how many people do get effected because of the same. Fleming brings Frederick J Todd and Timothy J Cox the right mix of talent that can pull off what he has visualised at the writing stage.


The plot of Sisyphus Unbound revolves around Virgil (Frederick J Todd), a college writing student who hopes to have his latest story published he must first get over one major hurdle before his work gets out to the world his mercurial writing professor Richard Laymen (Timothy J Cox).


The short film begins with a combination of extreme close shots and camera panning up to capture the nervousness in an attempt to quickly establish the subject matter of the film. The upbeat background music and the ticking of the clock are brilliantly utilised to give the audience an idea of the thought process of Virgil during his one-to-one meeting with professor Laymen adding the elements of realism and making it relatable for the viewers. The set design, the white, blue, and brown colour palette, transition between natural as well as dim lighting, sound, dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, and props help elevate the narrative therefore increasing the degree of audience engagement with content all through its running time.


In terms of performance, Timothy J Cox plays mercurial writing professor Richard Laymen who portrays two very different personalities when he deals with his students and as a father. The dialogue delivery, body language, and facial expressions of Timothy J Cox are on point providing a sense of involvement to the audience when the senior actor enters the frame.

Frederick J Todd plays the role of Virgil who wants to publish his latest story and become famous as a writer. He is smart enough to grab his opportunities but also respects people too. Todd depicts a range of emotions Virgil is experiencing and maintains a calm demeanour in terms of body language and dialogue so that Virgil’s character arc shapes up to give a sweet surprise to the audience when the movie reaches the climax.

Emerson Adams as Gwen is a treat to watch. Gwen provides some moments of comic relief and also inspires the viewers and incorporate the learnings into their lives.

The chemistry between Professor Laymen, Virgil, and Gwen adds depth to the storyline which allows the film to stay with the audience even after they have finished watching it.


Sisyphus Unbound talks about creating opportunities to succeed and work hard in life because there are a lot of people who are always ready to pull one down. The short film reiterates the importance of firmly believing in one’s dreams and persisting the same even when there are too many hurdles to cross. The cinematic piece highlights how crucial it is to pay attention to work life balance to deal with stress and also be ready to spread awareness about mental health.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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