The Adventures of Sally’s Inner Demons is a great short drama that takes a dark look at a single woman quickly spiralling out of control with drink and drugs. Some strong performances and a solid, well shot story ensures this short film is a captivating one.
What’s It All About?
Sally lives a reckless life of drinking, drug abuse and promiscuity until she suddenly becomes pregnant. Will she kick the habit for her baby’s sake?
What I liked most about The Adventures of Sally’s Inner Demons is that it did not shy away from it’s topic but faced it head on. This gritty drama looks at the lifestyle of Sally. We get a look into the dark world hidden behind the monotony of the nine-til-five office job in the city. Behind the mask of her safe and secure job Sally lives a very unsafe and self-destructive lifestyle begins to spill out into her work life. This is noticeable when a friend, Lydia, gives her some drugs at work in order to pick herself up. This helps to give us a very real picture of how drink and drugs can effect someone without glamourizing it.
The story is enhanced by Rayanna Dibs as Sally. She gives us a very raw and real performance that allows us to feel what the character is going through. I thought Rayanna really brought this character off the screen. It’s hard to feel sorry for the character given her actions but we can’t help but feel for her thanks to the fine performance from Rayanna. Sally manages to turn her life around and break away from her destructive ways and we are rooting for her to through it all by the end.
Writer and director Sabine Lang attempts an awful lot in this short. She has presented us with a very meaningful, dark and tragic story which she has used to create a rather powerful way. Sabine packs a lot of punch into this, covering a number of subjects including drug abuse, drinking and the overall way we live our lives. Sally certainly seems to be caught up in the cycle of working hard and playing a lot harder. Sabine really captures this dark and seedy underbelly.
The story was well thought out, we have a clear beginning, middle and end. The set up is great. We have a solid opening which establishes the main character and the conflicts she must overcome. The conclusion gives us a satisfactory end, even if it is a dark one. The middle of the short is where I thought it could have improved. As Sally overcomes her demons and cleans up her lifestyle we skip weeks and months, this is noticable as Sally is becoming more heavily pregnant. Giving more time during the film to show Sally cleaning up her life and the deterioration of her friendships would have given the other characters in the short a little more meaning. Also having followed Sally thorugh her journey in more detail would give the film a bigger impact in it’s conclusion and made us feel more for Sally.
Overall the camera work and editing were to a very high standard. I am not generally a big fan of the ‘shakey-cam’ but here it worked very effectively when it was used. Some of the quick cuts worked very well, especially against the slower, longer cuts between scenes. The only scene which I thought could have been improved was the dancefloor segment in the nightclub. Having the camera further away from the action made it look likea few people dancing around in a living room. If the shot had been more close-up to the acton and had the revellers squashed into the shot it would have given off a more intimate atmosphere of a nightclub dancefloor. I must commend Sabine Lang for the editing as well as the team of Bryan Cook, Daniele Banzato and Jc Prince.
Another acknowledgement needs to go to the excellent sound work from Barbara Dudek who really did a great job of helping to set the scene and create great atmosphere throughout the short.
Rayanna Dibs plays Sally. Rayanna gives us a stand-out performance in her role. She really embodies the character and demands attention on-screen. Not only that but we feel what the character is going through as she attempts to withdraw from her old life. This is no easy feat to accomplish but Rayanna manages to captivate her audience taking us through a wide reange of emotions that we feel with her.
Lisa du Plessis played Lydia. I enjoyed Lisa’s performance of Lydia. Lisa seemed to be at her finest when she was discovering the meaner side of her character but slightly more wooden and rigid when trying to be nice. I thought Lisa give us a controlled performance but maybe could have been free to explore the character in a little more detail.
I really enjoyed this short film a lot exploring the darker side of city life without glamourising it. Some fine performances and good storytelling was only let down by is runtime. I felt as though more time given to delvelop characters and relationships within the story could have improved the end product. Overall it was a great effort.