Someone Else (Short, 2010)
Reviewed by Erik W. Van Der Wolf
Starring Karen Bartke, Sharon Osdin, Katherine McGinty
Written and directed by Andrew Newall
An English teacher once told me that a speech should be like a woman's skirt – long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting. Obviously, my English teacher was not only male, but a dirty old man. However, his point was well taken. Perhaps William Shakespeare said it best in Hamlet – “Brevity is the soul of wit and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes.” In other words: just tell your fucking story.
With his short film "Someone Else", Andrew Newall does exactly that. Clocking in at about four minutes, "Someone Else" tells the story of a young woman who is living on her own for the first time and seems to be having difficulty adjusting to the new dynamic. What most find to be a liberating experience, she finds to be a rather unnerving one, giving her moments of paranoia and nightmares about someone else being in the house with her. Weren't those keys on another hook? Didn't I leave the remote on the shelf when I left this morning? What was that noise?
While these are all perfectly normal experiences everyone has from time to time when living alone, is the fact they seem to happen often cause for alarm? Or is she over-amplifying them in her own mind to validate her fears – both physical and emotional – about living alone? Or is there really someone else in the house with her?
Andrew Newall manages to pull off what often eludes other short filmmakers (not to mention long form filmmakers), which is tell an effective three-act story that's well conceived and well told, and he manages to do it in under five minutes, which is the sign of a talented filmmaker.
Mark Boggis' well crafted cinematography deserves a mention here, as do the excellent performances – another rarity for short films.
All in all "Someone Else" is a solid effort and sure to find a slot in just about any film festival that accepts shorts. Definitely check it out if you come across it on the circuit.
4 1/2 out of 5
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