The other’s loss in an accident and the feeling of guilt plus the pain of the emotional and physical emptiness are the central themes of ‘Incomplete‘ that render this drama using the relationship between two sisters. Without an overly tragic pathetic tone, the director of this short film, Esteban De La Isla invests the character of the sister who remained alive with all the nuances of painful recovery after the accident, proposing a succinct, but very empathetic life story. Obviously, this great theme of emotional pain augmented by self-blaming as a result of the tragic death of a loved one has had tremendous potential in world cinema. Even if a film like ‘Incomplete’ doesn’t have, because of its restrained dimensions, the impact of features such as ‘La Stanza del Figlio’ or ‘Ordinary People’, Esteban De La Isla’s project is sufficiently suggestive and dynamic to provide to viewers a complex experience improving the drama of the characters with an authentic psychological stake, following the natural process of revolt and resignation facing an irreversible event.


While Adela is looking for the only missing piece in a puzzle, her rebellious sister proposes to go to a party. The discussion between the two precipitates until Adela cannot really perceive the context in which she participates. This tense domestic episode is, in fact, a fantasy, an illusion revealing the protagonist a painful truth that her conscience refuses to accept.

 

Counting on a technique defying the expectations of the spectators who think they are witnessing a banal scene in the existence of a family, Esteban De La Isla’s project is rendered in an apparently objective manner (surprising through an unspectacular, but effective chromatic of some details of the protagonist’s intimate space whose importance is only evident at the end) daily gestures and replies that hide in fact a distorted perception of a reality being too brutal to be fully accepted. The whole short film is therefore a sincere incursion, lacking in bombastic artificiality, in the traumatized sensitivity of Adela – extremely authentically impersonated by Nunu Roca who also was involved in writing the script and producing this project, which proves not only the actress’ much more deeply emotional involvement in the creation of this short film, but also a much greater care for the subtleties of the script that explores the protagonist’s psyche.

 

Even though the three actors who define this narrow, suffocating fictional universe condemning the characters to self-introspection succeed in creating a homogenous and emotional product, Adela’s profile is the main element that compresses the whole negative energy of this family drama, managing to provide to the audience an inconvenient and cathartic experience about the power to accept our own guilt in order to achieve a higher level of understanding our destiny. ‘Incomplete’ is thus not only a painful exercise of exploring individual emotional pain, but also an honest and moving eulogy to the temporary beauty of life.

TMFF RATING:

 

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