Hurricane is a dark comedy that really captures the paranoia of 1950’s Cold War America. High production values and sharp writing make this short film enjoyable and ever-so-slightly uncomfortable.
What’s It All About?
A paranoia fueled dramedy set in 1950’s Cold War, about a husband and wife’s unexpected encounter with Communism.
What hits you straight away upon watching the film is the production values. The set is very authentic and done to a high standard, including 1950’s decor, furniture, food and even a radio. This quickly helps to set the scene without the need to explain anything to the viewer. Production values are an important part of short film as it’s a visual form of media and Hurricane really manages to take advantage of this being able to give the audience as much information about the short in as little time as possible. It gives the whole short a professional look and feel.
The story begins with a little introduction to the characters through a conversation about the steak that Eva, the wife, has cooked. I felt that this was a good way to lightly introduce the characters and set the scene before getting into the ‘meat’ of the story. I felt the this introduction played out a little too long in comparison to the rest of the short, although this is not a bad thing it did feel a little off-pace. Once we get into the main plot we get a fantastic pace. The main character is quickly overcome with paranoia, his radio goes off and he believes it’s the result of communist spies. His descent into madness is fast which makes for some excellent entertainment.
I really enjoyed the story. It’s always great to come across something different and original, Hurricane has both of these. Writer and director Christiano Dias has certainly entered the realms of dark comedy with this short. The writing is witty, sharp and very natural, this being emphasized by the great acting on display. I think the quality shines through and Christiano certainly has a bright future as a story-teller. He has captured the feeling of paranoia perfectly creating an addictive yet slightly uncomfortable feeling, something which is very relatable to us in this modern ‘big brother’ world.
This short film is simply easy to watch. It is presently in a way that makes it very appealing. It makes great use of color, and I am sure the intentional reds that are constantly present are there as a metaphor to the Cold War and the long curtains representing the ‘Iron Curtain’. The back drop of the 1950’s is a pleasant one. The camera work is also very good. Considering the entire film takes place in one room Andrew Messersmith, who was in charge of the cinematography, does more than enough to keep it visually interesting. He makes excellent use of close-up shots during the interrogation of the newspaper salesman capturing the intensity of the situation.
Daniel James Chan is another name worthy of a mention. The man in charge of the music really set the mood of the short, again creating that 1950’s style and setting. He also manages to help build tension throughout the short with clever use of the score.
Corey Page played Oslo Alduars, the husband. Corey’s performance stole the show as he displayed a quick and sudden deterioration into madness which was brilliant. His calm demeanor turned into paranoia right in front of our eyes. Corey gave us a very intense performance. A great display.
Lisa Roumain played Eva Alduars, the wife. Lisa was also on form with a very good turn. She shines at the start of the piece, but took a back seat throughout the interrogation. Lisa finished very strongly when given some more screen-time and ended the film in style. Another fine performance.
David Jay played Benjamin Shaw, the newspaper salesman. David looked genuinely terrified while he was interrogated by Oslo. His eyes expressed fear and he looked very uncomfortable, exactly how you would imagine anyone would be like while being interrogated by a stranger. I thoroughly enjoyed his character and David’s interpretation of him. A very solid outing for David.
Although this started off a little slow, it soon moved up a few gears and rolled along at a terrific pace. Solid writing, great performances and very high production values made this an excellent piece of short film that was very easy to watch and enjoy. Highly recommended.