Ax (Short, 2013)
Directed by Michael Coulombe
The short filmmaker knows that he is completely under the gun as soon as the cameras start rolling. Not only does he have to get his entire concept captured on film, but he's got to do it in a way that gets the job done in a very constricted amount of time. Written and directed by Michael Coulombe, Ax definitely makes the most of its runtime.
Starring Todd James Jackson and Marita Gomsrud, Ax is the story of a man's descent into madness. Or, perhaps, more like a rewind of a man's falling. It begins with a guy who has lost it and backtracks its way to the point where he initially went insane. It's an interesting concept. And some effective filmmaking is done here, especially for a short that's under ten minutes.
All of the dialogue of Ax is an internal monologue performed by Jackson. He is speaking within his own mind and debating details of sanity and how it affects man. This running dialogue is easily the highlight piece of the film. Coulombe knocked it out of the park here as the conversation he wrote sounds like poetry. It's absolutely brilliant and fits the film perfectly.
Of course, Ax has some shortcomings. There is not much in the way of action as it's basically all just a setup for the ending. It's a very simply made movie, but the dialogue and well shot scenes make it seem bigger than it is. It's quite an impressive effort.
It's not bloody or gory or filled with movement, but Ax is certainly worth a look. You connect with Jackson's character and can feel him melting away from reality. Nicely done by Coulombe and crew!
3 1/2 out of 5