Written by Birgit Syran Myaard and directed by Leon Mitchell, the feature film ‘Ellida’ stars Katrina Syran, Kris Wolf, Elliot Cable and Luca Molinari. Katrina Syran plays Ellida, a woman who has just lost her baby. Feeling lonely, suicidal and deeply depressed, Ellida’s world is shattered by the arrival of a stranger from her past life. As her life becomes complicated, Ellida finds herself at a crossroads. Will she manage to shed the weight of her previous life or will she drown by the immense sorrow and pain that seems to never let her go?
Based on the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s play ‘The Lady from the Sea’, ‘Ellida’ is a tour de force in cinematic storytelling. Mitchell adapts the play bit by bit into feature length form and the cinematic adaptation therefore turns out to be fantastic. Populated by interesting characters, illustrating fantastic acting and shot in a picturesque place that is nothing less than heavenly, Mitchell’s adaptation plays homage to its source material faithfully and with zest and zeal.
‘Ellida’’s greatest strength is perhaps in how it manages to accurately illustrate love, loss and grief. Losing a child for a new parent is always one of the hardest things that any human can go through and ‘Ellida’ manages to portray this devastating moment as authentically as possible. Mitchell knows how to immortalise grief and his film has powerful, albeit brief moments where human grief is on display in all its eternal glory.
From a technical standpoint, ‘Ellida’ excels in both cinematography and musical score. Ian James Gray, the BAFTA nominated cinematographer, ensures warmer colours and extreme closeups convey the multitude of emotions that the story has to offer. With stunning exterior shots basked in unadulterated sunlight and indoor scenes dimly lit by warm yellow, there is an additional aspect to the film that is conveyed by its visuals alone. The film is not only beautiful to look at, it also features a score that is as glorious as it is sad. Grammy winner Mark Thomas composes a hauntingly moving score for the film, one that works wonders in transmitting a range of emotions to the audience.
Leon Mitchell’s ‘Ellida’ is a gem of a film that is haunting, beautiful and poignant, all rolled into one. Sad yet hopeful and beautiful yet gloomy, the film does justice to Henrik Ibsen’s play. Mitchell has managed to create a masterpiece and we can’t wait to see what he does next.