A paranoia fueled dark comedy set in 1950s Cold War, about a husband and wife's encounter with a suspected Communist.
Written By: Christiano Dias
Directed By: Christiano Dias
Retro is currently the in sort of thing, especially the 1950's era it seems. Lately, everything seems to be heading back to yesteryear. Clothes, furniture and yes, even indie films. Just these last few weeks I have seen a few retro indie flicks and short films. Why the sudden interest one may ask? I have a theory. The cool looking decor and electronics of the era, the "Leave It To Beaver" personality traits planted firmly on the surface, as the commoners of the time kept up with the Joneses. A simpler time with a simpler life. Speaking of electronics, essentially one such piece sparks this entire short film. A cool old radio gives "Hurricane" the life it needs as we all tag along for the ride, setting the tone of the film and becoming the set piece that introduces us to the Alduars family.
So what manner of short film is Christiano Dias presenting us? The short of it? A good one. Contained within the 14 minute length is an interesting take on the average, every day life of regular folks during the Cold War. Well, maybe that's not quite the case considering the Alduars couple is a rather odd sort, made clear right from the start. What follows is a journey into the paranoia of the time, made interesting with a touch of humor that was designed to mirror the times, yet be ridiculous enough to add a comedic spark. It works well as "Hurricane" pushes forward with no problems keeping our attention. Although the ending is by no means shocking, it's the knowledge we have... or rather suspect the ending to be, that makes it that much more enjoyable. An oddly familiar closing to an unusual story. The fact we suspect what's going to happen actually enhances this film, rather than taking anything away. A nice touch.
The technical elements of "Hurricane" will only make a short appearance in this write up. The reason is simple: Christiano Dias offers up a great looking, and sounding flick. Attempting to point out any production flaws are difficult... basically, "Hurricane" looks right on par with most studio productions, save the massively budgeted blockbusters. I can write that the three characters are portrayed quite well, the casting picks for this film were spot on. Right away, with just an expression or two I knew these were not your typical, perfect characters although visually they were just that. Once the dialog really started there was no question I was witnessing some talented actors. Brilliant job all around. My only real peeve was the slight use of slang. For whatever reason, a few lines exist that showcase how people speak today, not yesteryear. I understand this was probably a stylistic choice. But for me, seeing the work taken to set the tone as a 50's era film... the odd but few dialog choices just felt completely out of place. This is such a small thing however, and many may consider it a comedic element that enhances the film. I personally... do not. I also wasn't fond of the ending, or to be more specific, the way the ending was handled. The final line in the film was about the radio. Without giving any spoilers, I felt it was not needed, that the film was just double checking to make sure I was smart enough to get the joke. For me, the radio static, and the onscreen visual of the storm outside was plenty. No need for that extra nail to drive it home.
In the end "Hurricane" far exceeded my expectations. This is 14 minutes that go by in the blink of an eye. The talent in front of and behind the camera ensures an entertaining piece, while the writing accomplishes what it set out to... with ease. I would have no problem adding "Hurricane" to my personal library... and would have equally no problem recommending it to anyone who may ask.
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