Andrew C Fisher
Andrew C Fisher
The complexities of the mind, when addressing human emotions, is devastatingly complex. Turn-ons, turn-offs, desire, and the sense of being heard all intermix and at some point, become unable to separate. Love is often mistaken for what has become the waking norm, and normality oftentimes becomes boring. Yet it's the different ideas of love and passion that really make the world go round. I say left and you say right, I prefer a gentle caress and you prefer a good whipping - we're all so damn different and in many cases, those differences allow us to feel like freaks. Outcasts, who in our own mind, most definitely do not deserve to be happy. It's these feelings of shame that cause many people, who don't fall within what society deems normal, to become reclusive and sometimes even dangerous. Society has no problem talking the talk, letting everyone know that differences should be celebrated - until it's time to walk the walk. That's when the story changes, and it rarely ends happily.
"Thanatos" in essence revolves around everything I wrote about above. If this were a longer film, I have little doubt that our two leading characters would have a backstory that in some way, mirrors what was written for the opening of this review. The subtle hints are all there, including our leading lady informing Aaron she has trouble keeping a job - a sure sign of perceived rejection from her peers. I want to say our leading lady is named Jess, but I'm ninety percent sure her name is never revealed in the film.
With all that said, here's the thing about this film - although it is about what I wrote above, it's also not. "Thanatos" falls more in line with a romance because at the end of the day, it's all about two people finding each other. Each of these people have their own lives, their own issues, and demons - and through mostly luck, their worlds connect. Andrew Fisher takes great care to keep "Thanatos" from being about a woman cheating on her boyfriend kind of movie, and does this by creating a boyfriend who is quite frankly... an asshole. A guy who really doesn't care about anything other than saying he has a beautiful girl by his side. Hell, he even comes across as a pimp of sorts at times. But his inclusion in this flick really is a background story - as I said, this film is about our two leads finding one and other - connecting. If I had a main complaint, it would be how the movie ends. It's pretty open, leaving the fate of our two characters to be played out in the viewer's imaginations.
When it comes to the technical aspects of this short film, I have very little to say. "Thanatos" looks and sounds great - I can't think of one time the words, "Independent" or "Low-budget" popped into my mind. But it doesn't just look and sound good, it's also very slick - flowing from start to finish without a hitch. No wonky transitions or wipes, and no awkward feeling edits. To complement the larger-feeling production, are some great performances from the cast. As expected, our two leads do fantastic jobs but it doesn't stop there. Jess's boyfriend comes across as a "nice-asshole" as intended, and even the creepy guy at the start of the film portrays himself as... well... creepy. His brief character was an excellent way to demonstrate some of the dangers associated with "house calls" and it all fit together so well. Production-wise? Well done.
As the fat lady sang her song and the credits rolled, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. Like the characters themselves, I can't say it was a perfect film - but definitely worth the twenty minutes... and then some. My biggest complaint would literally be that "Thanatos" should have been longer. A slightly more fleshed out, character-driven story would have been aces. It's not every day I complain a film isn't long enough, and that could/should be considered high praise. Four stars for sure - and to Andrew C. Fisher and his troupe, well done.