Pages

Monday, January 25, 2016

Touching French Drama "Always" Captures A Stream of Consciousness

"ALWAYS" (2015)
Genre: Drama
Length- 6:16
Company:  Danh Productions

A wife (Aurelie Meriel) and husband (Cameron McHarg) aren't doing so well in their relationship anymore.  They don't talk to one another, they barely even look at one another.  It's like they live in separate houses.

But it wasn't always this way.  It used to be so different.

Until one day, things changed . . .

AN EYE FOR THE CAMERA

"Always" is the latest short film from French writer/director Yann Danh, who you may remember as being the mastermind behind 2014's brilliant short thriller "At All Costs".  Whereas that film was a suspenseful and action packed, almost Quentin Tarantino-ish work, Danh has chosen to taken a completely different course for this film.

Featuring a naturalistic handheld approach, quick cuts and an editing style that segues seamlessly from present day to memories and back again, what Danh creates here is nothing short of a constant stream of consciousness caught on film.  He uses color correction to further elevate a sense of yearning and an atmosphere of despair that begins in the screenplay but rises from the words straight through the ethereal images and into your brain.

The soundtrack is equally beautiful, and despite the fact that there is no dialogue, the sounds of the sea and the insistent and unrelenting noises of nature make their point in place of words from characters' mouths.

"Always" will touch you, and while the ultimate destination doesn't pay off quite as well as it feels like it should, the journey and mystery that unfolds along the way is still an impressive accomplishment.

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 3 / 5.  Danh's "Always" is a very subtle and understated film, and its writing works well for what it does.
Directing: 4 / 5.  It is hard to see how this film could have possibly been directed any better -- Danh tells us the story one hundred percent visually, and does so extremely effectively, without the benefit of any dialogue whatsoever.
Editing: 4 / 5.  A gorgeously shot and color corrected picture -- the colorist is Jean-Christophe Savelli, while the editing credits also go to Danh, who deserves a special nod for the way the film's pacing rises and falls smoothly, not unlike the motions of the sea.  
Sound/Music: 5 / 5.  Anthony D'Amario gives us one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard for a short film -- it's melodic, it doesn't intrude but it hits all the right moments, too.  Add to that the sound effects, which provide a nice backdrop for the action.
Acting: 4 / 5.  Solid acting from everyone involved, particularly from our two leads, but also from Julien Randel, who is credited as The Bad Boy.  Everyone is completely believable, and though no lines are spoken, physically they emote and are perfect for their roles.

Final Grade: 4 / 5.

Don't forget to check out "Always" and follow the creators on Facebook!

When you get done there, check out our review of "At All Costs" right here.



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!