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The Wish

average rating is 3 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Jun 4, 2024

Film Reviews
The Wish
Directed by:
Charlie Fiske
Written by:
Charlie Fiske
Paul Brodie, Ebrahim Joof, Averil Anderson

Arthur (Brodie) lives a solitary life. As an aging widower he is used to doing things by himself, whether it’s making a cup of tea, sitting down to read the paper or heading out to do his shopping. What Arthur likes to do most of all though, is a little bit of gardening, and it’s while he’s outside in the back garden one day, pruning the bushes and pulling up weeds, that he comes across Noah (Joof).


Noah is a young boy of about eight years of age who is Arthur’s neighbour. He lives with his mum and his sister and they are all currently having a tough time of things. There’s no money to spare and the cupboards are literally bare, so it’s no surprise that when Noah finds a way into Arthur’s back garden and spies a juicy green apple hanging from the tree, he picks it off and puts it into his pocket. Surprised to find somebody plundering his fruit, Arthur follows Noah through the trees and fences until he sees the little boy showing his mother and his sister what he had managed to grab for nothing, for which he is very quickly chastised and slapped for his thievery.


Later on, Arthur is out laying down some flowers at his wife’s grave and reminiscing about all the good times they used to have when they were young and carefree. On the way home he passes a young man who seems very happy with a new set of headphones he’s wearing as well as a large bundle of cash which he has in his hand. Soon a young woman passes and tells Arthur that the old Wishing Tree in the park is granting wishes with its leaves but if he wants to get one he’ll have to hurry because the tree is dying and the leaves are getting taken fast. It is while he is at the Wishing Tree that Arthur meets Noah again and a decision needs to be made.


The Wish, from writer and director Charlie Fiske, is a quiet and gentle short which takes its time to tell Arthur and Noah’s story. There are very few spoken lines during the eleven-minute runtime and the story is mostly driven by the images and the haunting piano music from composer Jordan Pace. There is a voiceover about half-way through, provided by Arthur’s wife (Anderson), but otherwise we are left with the music and facial expressions from which to glean the emotion of the piece. Unfortunately, it’s very obvious that most of the sound has been added in post-production, with the sound effects especially rasping and crunching in ways that they’re not really supposed to. This creates a measure of disconnect between the video and the audio which can remove the viewer from the situation, and this happens similarly when Arthur interacts with other characters without a word or a sound as though he is in a silent movie.


The direction from Fiske and the cinematography from Kevin Turner are on point though, and there are a bunch of well chosen shots which add to the feel of the narrative, not least of all those which include the Wishing Tree itself. The flashback scenes are easily defined with a slight dream-like texture to them and the three narrative threads are edited together in a way that makes sense to the story. There are a lot of things to enjoy in The Wish, especially for those who know of The Monkey’s Paw, but there are also technical issues along with some too broad brushstrokes which need tidied up in order for this short film to truly reach the hearts and minds of its audience.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film
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