It's more common than you think. Being lonely. A countless number of people shuffle through life with no real love to speak of. No true friends, only acquaintances - no close family and sometimes, even no partner to share life with. You think these people are all assholes? Think again. Many folks who live like this are moral, polite and soft spoken. Just ask Kostas, he will tell you this himself. Is there something wrong with him? Is something wrong with anyone reading this - who also feels this way? For the vast majority of people, the answer is no and in this film - we follow Kostas on a journey of self healing. Aided by a mysterious stranger of course.
In a round about kind of way, "Zero - No beginning, no end" is all about depression and self worth. Something many people are affected by, and many don't talk about or even need to feel like that. Depression and an unhealthy mental state are common place - but only recently really addressed. What's scary is that many of these folks don't realize these feelings are treatable. People feeling this way were often labelled as crazy and because of the stigma surrounding depression, it's a hidden illness. It's also true, in my humble opinion, that the recent light shed on the subject has opened the floodgates for abuse... but that's another story. For Kostas, we learn that as he got older, he began to change a little. Being a mean person in his youth, like most people do, he has settled down a little with age. But that doesn't stop him from thinking of all he had done in his youth. The people, and other things he had hurt. One of the interesting questions of this film is if past mistakes dictate our future mental health? Do previous instances make us unworthy of being happy later on? Deep... right? Maybe a little much for a short film to handle? Maybe, but writer, director Theofanis Topsachalidis has this issue covered with the appearance of the mystery man and his cane. More on that later.
As a indie short film, you'll have no problem spotting some of the issues common with having very little money - but in truth? This film actually looks and sounds pretty good. Good visuals, good audio and a decent edit, paces things properly and holds it all together. "Zero - No beginning, no end" also happens to be sub-titled. I only bring that up because for me, it makes judging the acting difficult. With that said, I could find no glaring faults with any of the motions or expressions of the few cast mates involved. I can only assume things are great in that respect and move on.
What I was a little on the fence about was the man with the cane. I understand that this character was used as a tool, to essentially narrate a hard to film movie. It's tough dealing with mental issues and depression, visually. So this mystery man is a great way to get to the heart of the film. However, it may have been a little much. The lighting effects and general actions/reactions of this mystery man, pulled away from what I assume was the real story. The story of depression and pulling yourself out to join society as a whole. The mystery man's presentation added a eerie, satanic quality to the film that was pretty cool... but took away from the heartfelt story. Is it that bad? No... not really. I just wanted to illustrate my point. I took in and understood the meaning of the film, I'm sure most viewers will.
When it's all over and the credits roll, this was a well done short film that managed to visually present a really tough concept. And do it well. All messages of mental illness and depression aside - I got one big take away from watching this. We don't have to be alone. We simply need the courage to do something about it. What better, or more relevant message could you ask for? A solid three and a half stars.