Written, Directed & Produced by Louise Marie Cooke
Starring Shian Denovan, Valeria Vereau, Christian Kinde
Short Film Review by Taryll Baker
An explicit look at the subject of bisexuality. A subject which is most times controversial in the world of cinema. Louise Marie Cooke delves into that subject with Siren, a beautiful ‘girl-meets-girl’ tale. With little difficulty, we are thrown into the story of Elizabeth (Shian Denovan); a young woman who struggles to discover what she truly desires. But after a chance meeting with the sensuous Sirena (Valeria Vereau), her world is turned upside down.
Right off the bat I noticed how calm and careful Cooke’s approach was. Captured with a soft and steady hand, Siren looks stunning. It’s always a wonderful surprise when a short film has a seemingly high budget, not only lending towards the visuals, but the phenomenal talents involved. The pitch was clearly great enough to connect with people, leading to a successful crowdfunding campaign and final film.
Speaking of connection, Shian Denovan, Valeria Vereau & Christian Kinde all become essential components in making their characters entirely believable. The writing isn’t as strong as it should be, but the performances are, and that is something to be proud of. Beside this is the fact that this film is now 3 years old. It still holds up, it’s still a strong story, and it’s still being seen by people around the world, featuring at many film festivals.
Overall, speaking within the context of editing and camerawork, Siren is a delightfully tight production. This film is glistening from one edge of the screen to the next. Paired with this, is the music. The original score by Victoria Wijeratne is a ravishingly simple addition to the film. Its ambience, only truly brought to life by the orchestra, is a remarkable feat. The closing track ("Call To The Sea") is a breathtaking accompaniment to the picture, as is the entire score. There was a rare moment when watching, where I paused and thought to myself; “where can I hear this soundtrack?’ As I said, this is something that occurs to me very little when watching shorts, so it was a pleasant surprise.
It seems that surprises are what to expect from Siren. I’ve stated many times I was taken aback. Everyone involved, including the talented cinematographer Laura Bellingham, has brought something great to the table and delivered a stylish and important film. A thoughtful and insightful look into the subject of bisexuality. A thoughtful and insightful film, that many should see.