Short film review
Written by: Pascale Seigneurie | Directed by: Zayn Alexander | Genre: Drama | Length: 9 minutes
He wants to go home. To get a job and start a "real" family. She's not ready to give up her dream.
Life is change. Branching paths and new goals. What works at one point in time doesn't always work another. This is the same for relationships. They are tough mini battles composed of feeling and compromise. Love is usually never just enough in real life. We are all told that love finds a way but the reality isn't quite so fairy tale in nature. Jad is about to find out just how hard reality can be, as he attempts to work up the courage to ask Rania to marry him. Hoping that love alone will be enough to open her eyes to the reality of her achieving her goals as an actress. He wants to go home. To get a job and start a "real" family. She's not ready to give up her dream of becoming a successful actress, even though the stereotypical industry only seems to have one type of role for her. "Abroad" focuses and zooms in on that struggle. The struggle of the dreams and reality of life. When does a person decide it's time to move on? Both in terms of relationships and career dreams? The digital ink on the description tells us "Abroad" is about breaking into the industry. It says abroad is about typecasting, western style. I found the most interesting things about this title were not centered on acting at all. The "industry" was simply the stepping stone to the more interesting drama that "is" real life. It was very easy to fall into the narrative this short film laid out, but also very lacking in many key aspects of story telling. Mainly? The complete lack of a resolution. I'm all about cliff hangers. I eat them up. The issue here is that this is a short film, not a television show. There is no next episode. I shouldn't be left in the dark regarding the outcome of the main problem "Abroad" addresses. Was the ending meant to tell me that the two split up? Or did the ending scene take place right after the argument? Did it signify Rania decided to stay? Or that she was thinking it over? Up till the bitter end, I was captivated watching these two struggle with a life changing decision. I don't question the talent that make up this short title. I simply wish there was more to it than an ending that made me think what it would be like to quit smoking - cold turkey. As Jad did, I just felt like leaving the room.
Save the confusing ending, "Abroad" is a rather well put together production. Had the reality television camera work been aborted, it would have really reached the next level. Thankfully, even though the camera shakes a little much for my tastes, it's all edited together very well. Hiding some of the tripod-less action. Continuing on the positive side of things, our leading cast put on one hell of a show. Seigneurie and Alexander have seemingly little problem portraying the life of this couple. They are believable in their roles and don't miss a beat. Together, these two are the real reason to watch this title, earning the film a majority of it's stars. From Jad's conversation with his Mother, straight through until Rania begins to understand what exactly is taking place, these two are naturals. I only wish, and hate to keep coming back to this, that the ending was more concrete.
Overall, there is no question this is a good, above average short film. "Abroad" had no problem keeping me interested in the reality based fiction taking place in front of my eyes. I'm not sure when this title will be available to the public, but will update our links accordingly when it does. In the meantime we've included the trailer below, for your viewing pleasure.
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