Its 2:55 pm
The cheetah and I had a GREAT year of watching several outstanding short films in 2019.
We wanted to start 2020 off with a bang and as we sorted out a few potential films to debut here,we sent out a follow-up request to a film we had been following since 2018 and that was “The Curtain”. We had heard about this film from its director Crystal Lowe when she was filming it and had requested a chance to review it. But short films are actually harder to aquire for viewing then feature films because they often go from post-production straight into the festival circuit and can spend up to a year doing festivals before the general public gets a chance to see it IF its made available.
T his is what happened to “The Curtain“,it hit the film festivals where it won quite a few prizes but you know the cheetah and me,it doesn’t matter what you did at Sundance,it matters only if the cheetah likes it….
“The Curtain” mostly takes place in one hospital room and as the film opens,we see there is a woman and a man sharing a room and separated by a curtain.
Jordan (Sarah Dawn Pledge) is the woman and she is recovering from a broken leg.
We know she has a past when a nurse offers her pain meds and she refuses them despite being in serious pain. As she struggles to rest,suddenly a male breaks out in song and Jordan wonders how a man is sharing a room with her. She asks her fellow patient what happened to him and he says a broken hip.
The man turns out to be Lucas (Albert Nicholas) and he is a happy sounding man. As they talk,Jordan picks up things about Lucas. They make small talk until Lucas says he needs a nap – a few minutes later Jordan’s fiance comes in and we find out more about Jordan broke her leg.
She doesn’t know that Lucas has been listening in and when Jordan starts crying,Lucas says if she wants to talk….as the camera pulls away,we see that Lucas’s broken hip is only part of his issues.
Then we meet Luca’s mother Anna (Sheila Tyson) who is bright and cheerful but it is strained and forced.
We then find out Luca’s backstory and its a heartbreaking tale of a son who trying to please his father even while trying to live his own life which has taken a serious beating.
Jordan and Lucas keep to themselves as they reflect on their lives…when Jordan wakes up from a nightmare,they start talking……
Soon Lucas is moved to a private room and it seems like their story is over but is it??
Well 2020 is off to a great start because “The Curtain” is a lovely film and brilliantly directed by Lowe off a smart screenplay by Brenda Whitehall off a story by Brenda and Lynda Finch.
The acting was also very good as Pledge and Nicholas’s back and forth seemed so natural and organic,there isn’t a false note between them. Lowe shows a firm hand in keeping everything so level,while there mountains facing both Jordan and Lucas,there are also no hysterics or needless dramatic actions,they are two people who have been on the road for a long time and just got a little lost.
Giles Panton was really effective as Jordan’s fiance Jack. He has a Julian McMahon look around him,sleek and smooth but capable of masking his inner self with a smile.
The cinematography by Collin Morrison captures the mood very well,faded,a little murky but yet hopeful. Jordan and Lucas may be laid up but not they’re not down yet.
The use of colors add a nice contrast to what is being said. Its no accident that Jack and Lucas’s mother are wearing the darkest clothes….
The score is very low key and is played very gently in the background as to not distract you from the story which is a cardinal no-no in short films….the story has to come first,always.