What is wrong with Oliver? His memories are a fuddle of what exactly? What was? What could be? The brief synopsis states he is trapped in a distortion of time, whatever that means - but I have my doubts for some reason. Things feel more complicated than that, and even if you take things at face value - what exactly is a distortion of time? A loop? An alternate dimension? There are so many questions, and thankfully, "Echoes" doesn't provide a slew of answers which only adds to the overall mystery. I loved every minute of it.
For the entirety of this short film from writer, director Anthony Kalmeta, I was left wondering - as Oliver tried to sort through his memories of Ava, the woman of his affections. But are they memories of past experiences or something completely different? That's the beauty of this film - you never really know for sure, and by the end, when you feel you're beginning to understand it all, you realize you actually know nothing. "Echoes" is the perfect example of an independent, low-budget film done right. A movie that screams to be watched. It also doesn't hurt that it looks and sounds fantastic either. But is it too experimental? Are the threads a little too bare? That will depend entirely on the viewer and their state of mind, but one thing is sure, this was a great short film.
Let me just say it. This film looks and sounds great. I would be lying if I said that "Echoes" didn't vastly exceed my expectations from a production standpoint. It's slick, polished, and the fact that it's acted well is the icing on the cake. But what really got me thinking was the story itself. Yes, reader, it's very sci-fi-ish and even dramatic - but as I stated at the start of this writeup, it just feels like so much more is going on. Specifically? Mental illness.
You read that correctly. Could "Echoes" actually be one big allegory for mental disease? It all fits together so damn well it's hard not to think that at times during the film. I almost feel that dropping the official synopsis altogether and allowing viewers no advanced knowledge of this story would result in precisely what I stated above. Of course, not everything fits - but even the loose ends could be chalked up to ... well ... mental illness. It's an interesting theory, but again, reader, that will be for you to decide for yourself.
When it's all said and done, "Echoes" really hunkers down and delivers the good. I've tried to keep things reasonably vague while still getting my point across, but honestly? It wouldn't really matter if I wrote out a play-by-play of the film. Kalmeta's movie is one meant to be experienced. The final conclusions will be for you to pick at. Overall? A great movie that easily earns its four stars. Well done.