Faced with outrageous hospital bills trying to save their terminally ill
daughter, a family is forced to accept
Written By: Fabienne Maurer,
Directed By: Rock Chang
I was a little surprised by this most recent offering by Director Rock Chang. Of all the things I expected, an emotional response from an Indie short film was not one of them. I'm by no means saying all Indie films are emotionless flecks in the world of filmmaking, quite the opposite really. They can be funny, exciting and very nice to look at visually, since the length of a short film can allow more attention to detail. What short films are not known for is creating touching, but sad moments in cinematic time. Usually, because the films are so short, there is no bonding time with the characters. In the case of Exhale? None of the above applies. This is a touching piece of Indie magic that I was both glad and sad to have watched.
As far as the writing and pacing goes, Exhale is nothing fancy or over the top. It's straight up "Meat and potatoes" styled delivery. We get our plot and back story very quickly, with the rest falling into place at the right times and in good measure. The story itself is based on real events, so that helps with the delivery of the emotional content. Camera work is well above average and at times, not only beautiful, but composed in a real yet grounded way that compliments the story, rather than try to extend or expand it. We've also got some great audio that never sounds far away or hollow, and the overall post mix was done expertly.
The cast deliver great performances that really hit a nerve at times, this helped pull Exhale well past the average short film. A special note should be made that even the children actors did a stand up job in this production. We all love children but sometimes finding the right young actor can be a difficult task. In the case of Exhale? Well done all around.
Stories of this nature always have the potential to be emotional powerhouses. Exhale is no different, except the fact that this was all pulled off as a short film. Emotions are key to any production and Exhale shines brilliantly... even as a sad story.
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