Imagine being placed somewhere, undercover, in order to determine if a specific group or species is worth being saved from extinction. Aside from self awareness - what characteristics would set it apart? Make it worthy of salvation? Would it be intelligence? Would it be an ability to adapt? Or would it be love? After being on our planet for decades, our main protagonist Rae thinks she has her answer - if only us pesky humans would cooperate.
Rae thinks our one powerful quality, the one worthy of survival, is love. Until that is, Rae reveals herself to her boyfriend and he runs away screaming. Well... maybe not screaming, but you get the idea. I can't say I don't understand his reaction - but for Rae this is a brutal blow. She wants to save humanity. She really does. It just seems like humanity is not ready for the cosmic truth. Making matters worse? There's no time to make us ready. It's coming. Something so horrible it spells the end of humanity. The Entity.
It's only when Rae has given up all hope and is awaiting extraction, that she meets a man. A man who is different. A man who through life circumstances, seems destined to have run into her. His name? Chosen. That's right reader. "Chosen" is his actual name. Could there be a more blatant sign? It's at this point that "The Chosen" ramps things up. It's also at this same point, when the credits start to roll. As cool as Donnell Henry's short film is, I can't deny I felt a little cheated. Maybe more than a little.
"The Chosen" as a production has some pretty cool moments visually. This is not an example of a crap low budget production. There are some cool special effects - and the cinematography may not be worthy of a million dollar rig... but it's far greater than many low budget flicks I've seen. I also realize that the visuals may not dazzle me as much as they would a casual viewer. Why is that? It's because I know who Andrew Kramer is - and I myself, own most of his products. We'll just leave it at that.
I also noticed that some of the audio contained the tell tale signs of a wind removal program. That robotic, click, pop sound that just happens to be a hallmark of indie productions. In this case, it was never bad enough to drastically alter my enjoyment of the film - but was noticed.
As for the acting, I really have no complaints. To be honest? It was actually quite good. I even laughed a little as Rae's boyfriend ran off, and was all ears when Rae met Chosen. I find that with dialog heavy scenes, only good acting stops them from being a complete bore. No matter how good the script is. With "The Chosen" I was never bored - a tribute to some excellent portrayals from the cast.
So why is it I felt cheated? It's because I went into this film expecting... well... a short film. Not an introduction, complete with a cliff-hanger, to a potential series. As I said, things were getting good. The entire point of the short film was just on the horizon... and then it ended. That hurt.
I was also left slightly confused by the way the ending was handled. I'll admit, I had to go back and watch the ending again and think about what had happened - but my point is this... I didn't get it at first. For me, the entire point of the film was to find someone to take away. To leave the planet for a long time. Forever really, when you consider the Entity. And then... things seem to completely switch around and... well reader... you'll have to find out yourself. No spoilers remember? To be blunt however, things got a little tricky to follow. At first, for me anyhow. The other issue I had was in the script. A huge point is made that humanity is worth saving, because of it's ability to love. And then, that point is thrown away during the ending sequences. Rae didn't love Chosen. She had just met him! It's then I realized that love had nothing to do with anything. It was just a good way to start the film. Hmmm.
So here it is. "The Chosen" ends up being a well done short film. No question about that. It's well acted, entertaining, and even has some special effects! Yet it's cliffhanger ending may jar some viewers, both in terms of story and it's abruptness. Was I entertained? Yes. Not only entertained, but also interested. I just wish a little more was shelled out before the credits rolled. A solid three out of five stars.