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The Rise of Elsie Mathews

average rating is 5 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

May 11, 2023

Film Reviews
The Rise of Elsie Mathews
Directed by:
J. W. Cox
Written by:
J. W. Cox
Rhyan Elizabeth Hanavan, Kira L. Wilson

The writer-director J.W. Cox gives the audience an insight into the world of the Hollywood stars and their entourage through the female protagonist Elsie Mathews (Rhyan Elizabeth Hanavan).


The plot of The Rise of Elsie Mathews revolves around an overbearing-Stage mom who pushes her 13-year-old daughter Elsie forward into a film career. However, her relationship with crew members is tense, as they love what Elsie brings to the table, but question if working with her is worth dealing with her mother. Elsie must find a way to move forward to achieve her goals and also move past her mother.


The film opens with the camera panning into an ongoing scene from the sets of Elsie’s forthcoming movie quickly runs through her busy schedule establishing the subject matter gripping the attention and forming an emotional connection with the content diving into it to explore further, especially those section of the audience who have a keen interest in filmmaking and wants to try their luck in the field by choosing it as a profession. The black, white, and grey colour palette provides a sense of serenity but it is left to the viewers to find out more about the other shades in the movie by watching the same. The set design, lighting, music, dialogues, costume, hair, makeup, and props have been kept natural and uplift the topic of The Rise Of Elsie Mathews.



In terms of performance, Rhyan Elizabeth Hanavan plays Elsie Mathews a child artist who loves her work and enjoys the same but starts to feel the pressure as her mother wants to burden the little girl with the financial responsibilities of the household. Hanavan depicts the physical and emotional roller coaster Elsie feels from the very beginning with the help of body language, voice modulation, facial expressions, and eyes. Hanavan’s portrayal adds the element of realism to her performance and makes it relatable therefore allowing the viewers to learn from the character arc of Elsie.

Kira L. Wilson plays the role of Helen Mathews the mother of Elsie who wants to manage the career plans of her daughter as Helen wants to take care of expenses concerning their home and also spare some money for her alcohol and cigarettes. Wilson brings out the villain shade of her character and so the audience dislikes Helen Mathews from the very first scene. I liked how Kira L. Wilson managed to evoke the exact reaction to Helen the filmmakers wanted as per the script.


The Rise Of Elsie Mathews talks about the amount of hard work required to maintain the name and fame a film career brings with it. The short film reiterates that people should learn to deal with loneliness at the peak of being popular as they continuously search for some sort of normalcy. The dramatic piece highlights the culture of overbearing parenting in the entertainment industry resulting in an abusive relationship in the long run. The cinematic piece also tells us that it is important to support one’s costars and crews in every possible way to taste real success and be happy to improve their performance in turn.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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