He leaves her – we’ve heard this story countless times. But we have not always had the opportunity to enter so convincingly into the inner tumult of a soul seeking a form of healing. Based on both a story about broken hearts and how social conventions can completely depersonalize you, ‘Anna!‘ is a short film that exposes what some might call a “bourgeois drama”. Such a concept might sound pejorative, but the intention of director Martin Norén is precisely to give us the premises of a story each viewer can easily identify with. After breaking up with her boyfriend, who most likely cheated on her with her best friend, Anna needs the help of a therapist to move on. Gradually, she will learn that personal freedom is something you have to gain by yourself.
At the narrative level, the project’s stake is not to shock or impress by the extent of the protagonist’s suffering but to provide a somewhat ordinary everyday fragment, a universal experience presented in a sincere and simple way, far from the singular abysmal psychology of a tragedy. The characters are, therefore, mirrors in which each of us can see their reflection – they have a more or less impressive job, a more or less manipulative boss, a dream to become something more than they already are, they deceived or have been deceived by the one they loved, and so on. The apparent banality of these conflicts is one of the main qualities of the short film, which, beyond the pretext of a failed relationship, subtly illustrates the mechanisms by which we risk becoming victims of our own fear of saying no. Martin Norén builds a succinct process of self-discovery, in a well-thought-out alternation of temporal and spatial plans, with the professionalism of a director fully aware of his artistic potential. ‘Anna!’ is a convincing portrait of a protagonist that we have certainly met in movies or in real life but who has, at the same time, a distinct and fresh identity.