In general, when a film begins with a few agitated waves throwing a person’s body on a shore, we expect to witness a Robinsoniad, an exotic experience supported, most of the time, by the discovery of a new civilization. However, ‘714’ is a short film that deceives such expectations, even if the experience of the main character is as intense as that of a real shipwrecked man. Indeed, the protagonist imagined by director Alex Pychtin doesn’t have an extreme encounter with a new civilization, but with himself. Thus, this sci-fi short film opposes in an almost neurotic wavering between two realities the appearance and essence of a protagonist who seems to be the last survivor of the Earth whose mission is to save the planet. The dilemma this project launches concerns, instead, the boundary between these two avatars. Who is the real character: the one who dreams while being in a kind of coma orchestrated by a hyper-developed technology or the one who experiences at a tactile level the ephemeral beauty of the island landscape? The answer doesn’t have to be obvious, since this change of perspectives is, in itself, the main engine of triggering the character’s inner conflict.


Thus, everything seems to take the form of a cynical game in which the truth is relativized, while above this Edenic space the imminence of a final catastrophe floats constantly. This is a great advantage of the project which, even if it doesn’t invest more in the actions of the protagonist, succeeds in creating an intriguing atmosphere. In other words, in its current form, the director launches several challenges, coagulating the premises of a coherent psychology, but he doesn’t push the character’s conflict towards a concreteness of his actions. The race against time has begun, but no one seems to know what will really happen when all the sand has drained from the hourglass. Of course, this aspect is not a defect per se, since the dynamism of the project manages to keep you emotionally involved in the epic unfolding, but this doesn’t exclude the possible wish of the viewer to know the consequences of this cosmicsized odyssey. Therefore, Alex Pychtin approaches a subject with potential, opening a promising fictional horizon that he can fill at any time with narrative substance, especially since the protagonist’s personal motivations have already been established. ‘714’ is an alert short film that makes you want more.