The 'play' that college students are assigned revolves around the gay landmark tragedies faced by Tyler Clementi and Matthew Shepard, and strikes close to home for one of the actors.
Written By: Ronald Marquisee
Directed By: Ronald Marquisee
This was an interesting short sent in to review not so much for the content, rather the format in which the story is told. Impossible Choice: The Play Within is just that; a short play put on by two students in drama class. The themes explored are not new in this day and age tackling what I've always thought not modern problems, but age old ones. Hate and fear, loathing, and our need to be accepted by others at almost any cost. In the case of Ronald Marguisee's play within I can only assume you've realized this is a drama focused on homosexuality.
Entering the technical aspects of this short is actually tougher than I thought. The content itself is centered around an amateur stage production, so having it show as a technical marvel would defeat the purpose. Having said that let me start by writing that the lensing was decent and everything was put together in a competent with nothing really shining through for me. No spice in the rum if you will. On the plus side I was happy to get some really good audio allowing the dialog to flow loud and clear. The addition of the violin did wonders enhancing the dramatic theme and was the lone "Above and beyond" element doing wonders for the production. The narrative was penned and paced decently and the actors themselves performed reasonably well, considering the context of the production itself. No "Best acting" awards will be presented for Impossible Choice: The Play Within, but that's kind of the point. My biggest pet peeve is the simple fact I know things could have been so much better. Everything was in place just waiting for a little something extra pushing it past the mediocre level into the spotlight. I was also left questioning the very ending of the piece. What was the point of the two leads removing their shirts to dance? Unless I missed something it felt like this was done simply as an attention grabber serving no purpose for the narrative itself.
We're left with a powerful message by the end of Impossible Choice: The Play Within which is one that should be heard by all. A message screaming that we're all human! The main problem I see for this short is that the people that should be watching and learning simply won't. We can all applaud the message here, patting ourselves on the back for "Getting it" but in reality what does it matter? A message like this is only a good one when the people who need to see it... see it! The people that need to see this short, and films like this simply won't watch it. As I return this writing back to Impossible Choice I can say I was glad to have gotten to watch. I am thankful (As I always am) that some people still have the guts to tackle the hard issues, trying to put them out there for us all to see. This was a good film deserving of new and fresh eyes upon it. It's only together that we can...... Well... I'm sure you've all heard that before.
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