Sometimes an “okay” can mean a cry for help. But how can we really know if certain limits are crossed when our choices are determined by the will of others? ‘Okay‘ is a short film that explores this delicate psychological state, providing a succinct panorama of a dysfunctional family relationship. More precisely, Seif Sayed Abdel Raouf illustrates in his project the unfortunate profile of that “yes-man” behind whom, in fact, hides the trauma of the inability to assume his own personality. What is really sad is that this programmatic depersonalization is orchestrated by parents who, either accidentally or out of almost pathological insensitivity, completely compromise their children’s emotional health. The short film thus achieves a relatively didactic dimension, but what really gives it an impact is not the “moral of the story” but the inner tension felt by the victim of this abuse. The protagonist loses himself in the maze of his own fears so that, at the end of his desperate attempts to find a way out, he meets his own pain, which, perhaps on this occasion, he will accept totally, with resignation, while stopping to self-punish because of the negligence of others.
Although apparently a project that explores in a realistic way the psychological degradation of the protagonist, the short film slips into a horror zone to expose the terror felt organically by the young man at the limit of endurance. Seif Sayed Abdel Raouf builds with precision the incarnation of a daily nightmare, creating an alienating atmosphere that perfectly shows the character’s inability to control his own destiny. The film radiates a dark and captivating energy whose images, both poetic and terrifying, have the quality of sticking to the viewer’s retinas and eardrums. ‘Okay’ may not give us all the details of an extremely complex story, but it certainly delivers the result of a fresh and bold artistic vision.
For the intensity with which it “encodes” in a daily nightmare the perpetual drama of the person whose family love is denied and for the structural cohesion of its dark and magnetic cinematic substance, ‘Okay’ was awarded with the Film of the Month distinction in the October 2022 edition of TMFF.