What She Saw

A story of existential crisis and redemption from the perspective of a young woman teetering on the edge of self destruction.

Genre: Drama

Length: 11:00

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Khyle Manby-Evans,

Director/s : Khyle Manby-Evans, 

Writer/s : Khyle Manby-Evans, 

Actor/s : Sofia Kyriacou, Jasna Anderson

 

Bottoming Out

Lizzie is in a mess.  She’s out of work, her boyfriend is drifting away, or perhaps he’s already drifted and she’s just imagining or remembering his nice words and his harsh ones. Her sister has just had a baby, but Lizzie can’t seem to care. Her mother is cold and judgemental.

We see all this in quick, telling snippets, before an extended scene in which almost nothing happens, but everything happens. Slowing down when most films want to speed up somehow works, perhaps because now we see her, and what she saw, through a stranger’s eyes. We share an emotional catharsis, and… Well, Lizzie’s new niece is to be named Hope, so we get it.

What She Saw compresses enough story for a feature film into a tight, 11 minute short. It leaves gaps, sure, but they can be back-filled.  It is amazing how much can be conveyed in a tiny scene. Not just information, but the more important stuff of emotions and state of mind.

Sofia Kyriacou brilliantly gives Lizzie the kind of desperation that the bigger it grows, the less she expresses. The camerawork matches the mood. Sometimes only a slice of Lizzie’s face is allowed inside the frame, which as a device is more telling and more unsettling than any amount of tricksy jerky camera movement. It flips to black and white too; and there’s some great, evocative and disturbing music.

One might quibble that the closing scene with gloomy light under an umbrella, and continued close-ups, does not illustrate “hope”, even when the script does. And wouldn’t the bright flowers that appear near the start have been better placed here, at the end? But all told, it’s a very accomplished piece of work from Khyle Manby-Evans, showing what short film-making is all about.