A man who has lost everything contemplates suicide until a phone call makes him think twice.
Written By: Don Tempesta
Directed By: Chris Esper,
What we have here is a short film that dives head first into a very touchy subject. Suicidal depression. This really can be a tough line to ride, considering a large portion of scholars tend to disagree with the cause and effect of depression. What one person can tackle emotionally another can't. Writers Don Tempesta and Chris Esper choose to ride the more common form, and base this short on the effects of loss as the base line for this film. Smart move considering this is a short. Does Always A Reason suffer for this? Not at all. The source material is approached in a kind and almost understanding way, with a conclusion that's both simple, and as in real life, contains more truth than some would care to believe. It's all about the small things.
Technically, Always a Reason really doesn't have much to it. It is a short film after all. I was a little thrown off by the use of a few shots that appeared almost hand held. In a dramatic short such as this, I couldn't help but feel a more standard approach would have fit the content better. With that in mind let me add that it's really hard to judge what's right and wrong in a production of this type. Perhaps the very shots I mentioned above actually helped juice up the content, and I simply don't realize it because I haven't seen the alternatives. No matter the case though, the point came through loud and clear. Aside from a few camera distractions everything was done well enough to drive the point home. We have simplistic editing that also consists of very fitting fades, and a very good pacing. I use the term simplistic editing as a compliment here. Knowing when to get fancy and when to keep it simple is a staple of good work. Think of a Rock drummer deciding to show off with a drum solo... halfway through a slow Country song, and you'll get my point. In this case the simple technique works well. The acting, consisting of a lot of expression work, brings the point home and is also done well in Always A Reason.
Tackling emotional stories using short film as the vehicle can be tough. We don't get the time to know the characters as we would in a feature. Taking on a tough topic such as depression in short film format took a lot of balls. The fact that Always A Reason is a highly watchable piece of art speaks volumes for it's writer, directors and cast. This film could have went either way due to the nature of the content. I'm glad it didn't. I would recommend this to anyone both as a form of entertainment, and quite possibly a tool to make a depressed friend think of the big and small things in life that make it worth living.
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