(This is Purgatory short film review, which is a black and white mystery psychological short film released in Vimeo)
Cleaning service and laundry place has been one of the most commonly visited place for some. So what are the better ways to make it into a nice fitting film setting for psychological short film? Well, Purgatory seems to have the answer for that.
It is directed by Natasha Rukavishnikova, with sound design by Charles Potashner, and features Claude Pelletier as the main and only actor in the film. What could we expect from this black and white film set in a laundry place? Well, read on the Purgatory short film review below to find out!
When a man is found lying in front of a laundry service store, he steps into it to find himself in an unusual situation. What is the real face behind such store?
Purgatory Short Film Review
the short film thrives with its simplicity
The premise is actually very simple. There is a time loop or some kind of it, that makes the character relives the same moment over and over again. The short film decides to keep it simple without complicating it with some big twists of any other stuff for a deep or complex story. In my opinion, this looks to be a good decision to make us focus more on the atmosphere and the overall concept.
With that said, though the short film thrives with its simplicity. For some movie audiences, they would prefer if there are more stuff added into it. Perhaps a more concrete clues as to why such Purgatory laundry store exists etc. I think the part with the Guest Book could be used as a way to add in subtle details on, perhaps, previous victims or including references to the existence of the store.
And the part of “Cleaning your sins”, seems to be an apt way of linking the laundry store with purgatory itself. A nice link, that though can be subtle but also very obvious by the end. I just felt it could better if the character washes more than a dropped clothing on the floor. Like maybe part of his shirt etc?
Pacing is pretty decent where the film begins the film in a slower pace and then quicken it in the second half. It helps with inducing tension as we are left wondering what had really happened. Nothing bad or exceptional in this department. Though I like the ending where things are rewinded back quickly instead of in slow-motion, which many other short films like to overuse for dramatic reasons.
Visual-wise, the decision to use Black & White is another right one to me. It helps us to really focus more on the character, the mood and atmosphere of the whole film. So kudos to the director for choosing to narrow the audience’s focus in this short film.
There is essentially only one character in the film. I think his existence itself presents a mystery to the audience, like what is the reason he is lying on the floor in the beginning, which are explained by the end of the film. The actor looks suitable for the role, which is that of an everyday man but seems to be saddled with some kind of guilt.
an everyday man but seems to be saddled with some kind of guilt
His acting is pretty good in delivering some facial expressions and his body languages display uncertainty etc without delivering a single line of dialogue. Overall, with the short duration and the nature of this short film, the acting and character design is appropriate for it. Maybe just need a touch of exaggeration in some scenes would be more ideal.
There are not much soundtrack here, more like the short film is using as many foleys and some environmental sound for background. It does fit with the simplicity that the film tries to portray, and I can say that it fits the film quite well. Nothing too exaggerated or dramatic, which indirectly makes the overall atmosphere feels more mysterious and catches our attention easier.