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Thursday, March 13, 2014

And Life Becomes Art: Romantic Comedy "Selfie" Smart, Sweet Fun

"SELFIE" (2014)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length - 6:38
Company: vickrishnafilms
Website: "Compass Rose" (Facebook)

A photographer fresh from a breakup (Vick Krishna) is taking pictures in Washington, D.C. when his artistic eye falls on a new, and quite lonely, muse (Emilie Pratt).

Written, directed, edited, and starring Vick Krishna -- familiar to YouTube film fanatics for last year's similarly Valentine's Day themed short, "Compass Rose" -- this new offering tells a hopeful love story with just a dash of comedy and gravity to level the playing field.

How's it all turn out? 

Glad you asked.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY

Krishna's latest film plays with that most contemporary of cultural memes, the "Selfie" -- a picture taken of one's self and anyone who's nearby, usually by a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet.  While the lonely muse takes these selfie pictures with her cell phone, the photographer has a higher powered digital camera.

In this way, he cleverly pits the two styles of photography against each other.  While the muse's photos are lonely and sad, the images the photographer gets of her are striking and even gorgeous despite being taken in the midst of her halfhearted journey among national monuments.

It is ultimately this clever commentary between the new "Me Generation" (the mobile device users) and the more traditional "Artists" (those developing their craft with cameras and composition) that sets up their eventual meeting, and it's this depth that elevates "Selfie" above what might have otherwise been just a saccharine love story.



OVERALL SCORES

Writing: 3 / 5.  I loved the thematic depth from the interplay between the two styles of photography.  This may have been unintentional, but subconsciously it was there, and it made the story that much more interesting.  Unfortunately the love story was one note throughout, and I think most women would have found the photographer's actions a bit too close to stalking regardless of how beautiful his pictures looked. 
Directing: 4 / 5.  I loved the composition of Krishna's shots.  He took full advantage of the natural (and man made) beauty around him, which opened up the film considerably.  Too many independent films are shut up in a house somewhere.  Not here -- we've got the whole wide world to explore, and visually Krishna was more than up to the challenge.
Editing: 3 / 5.  The film moved along at a good click and the transitions between scenes were smooth.  The extremely short running time actually felt right for this film.  There's not much story going on here, but the extra short length matches it stride for stride.
Sound/Music: 1 / 5.  The music seemed more "in your face" than it needed to be for what is otherwise a very quiet story.  It didn't accentuate the events onscreen, and that's what good film music is supposed to do.
Acting: 4 / 5.  Krishna and Pratt have no lines -- there is no dialogue in the entire film, in fact -- but they sell their parts by their expressions alone.  Not a single look appears over the top.  Rachel Burnell makes a short appearance as the photographer's ex-girlfriend, and she is credible.

Final Grade: 3 / 5.

Don't forget to watch "Selfie" on YouTube by clicking here, and don't forget to follow Vick Krishna on Facebook on his "Compass Rose" page!



Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!