Human relationships always involve a variety of emotions that, in cinema, can be explored in countless ways. This thematic potential is certainly of particular interest to director Tom White who explores in his short film, ‘Remembrance‘, a sensitive human context through which he approaches a generous palette of emotions, deliberately misleading the viewer’s horizon of expectation. Passionate about the abysses of the human psychic and about the difficulty with which the individual accepts their own traumas as a first step in the process of self-healing, the director builds in his short film a seemingly saving, providential relationship between two people who hide, in fact, uncomfortable secrets. One of the great challenges of this project and, implicitly, perhaps its greatest advantage, is the extremely well-mastered way in which the director juggles with appearances, suddenly pushing the convention of an implosive and tender drama towards the thriller formula, orchestrating an unexpected retaliation. Thus, the cinematic experience goes from a temperate contemplation of two souls who try to regain their emotional integrity to an acute awareness of the impossibility of overcoming the demons from the past, reaching a visceral area.
When Alice and Carl cross each other’s paths during an anonymous alcoholics meeting, the two seem to forget for a moment their traumatic past. In fact, their friendship seems to compensate for the shortcomings of a present haunted by the wounds of the past. However, one of them is still overwhelmed by the instinct to take revenge at any cost.
Passionate about the “invisible” relationships that subtly interconnect individuals, Tom White expresses through his project an intimate belief that the encounters between people are not at all coincidental. Thus, chance or hazard is never an option – this is, actually, the biggest surprise this short film provides for its viewers. While not an extremely original option, this is extremely efficient, and the ability with which the director condenses a coherent plot into a restrained cinematic space will not disappoint the drama-thriller genre lovers. However, despite the intriguing, fishy narrative conflict defying the viewers’ preconceptions, the small technical issues (in particular, the background sound that alters the characters’ dialogic interaction) risk not turning the project into a memorable experience. In fact, ‘Remembrance’ is a project with a cleverly constructed narrative mainstay that will satisfy viewers eager for unexpected twists, but this will not be enough to convince the most demanding of them.