Halina is a sci-fi drama about a young woman hired by a reclusive billionaire to care for a mysterious and very lifelike humanoid robot.
Written By: Ralph Suarez
Directed By: Ralph Suarez
Robots, specifically A.I. has always interested me. Here, in Ralph Suarez's short film "Halina" we're confronted with a huge question; even if it is just skirting in the backround of the film itself. Why should we care anything for a machine? It can't feel, only seem to feel. It can't love or miss someone... only seem to love or miss someone. When all the smoke clears and the mirrors fog up we're left with a machine. Plain and simple. What "Halina" does do right is to play on the notion of morality and a sense of right-ness. Is it morally right or even normal, to create and keep a machine that emulates your dead wife? Is it a sound judgment to make the machine think it is that person? There's a line in the film where the robot, Halina, is compared to a hanging photo... a tribute to a real person. That about summed up the film for me. At the same time however, all these questions were running through my head. Could a robot ever gain real emotions or really and truly think? How would we ever really know? In the film itself, I also applauded the personal drama created in the lead character's life. This really helped play out the narrative and get around the obvious questions. If Mischa's character wasn't going through such a tough time personally, would her interactions with the robot have been different? It's a tough question and one we never really get an answer to.
On the technical side, "Halina" plays very nicely. This is a good looking short film, on par with many studio offerings. The lensing and composing of shots was handled beautifully, and a great feel for the "edit" keeps the story flowing straight up till it's comedic conclusion. "Halina" really is a well written, acted and slick production. Watching this short may bring many things to mind, but an "indie" film is not one of them.
At the end of the day, "Halina" is one of those films that plays great and leaves you with some questions that none of us, in my opinion, will ever be able to answer. The beauty here is what could potentially happen, after the credits role. When the time comes for us, how should we feel toward a machine that can think? Or feel? Should we feel sorry for them at times? Or happy for them? Is using the term "them" even an accurate one? Writer / Director Ralph Suarez has put together an interesting piece to think about. It just so happens that questions aside... it's actually also a really good short film to watch.
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