There are certain short films that, after seeing them, you can only say: excellent! Well, yes, ‘Velvet Farewell‘ is an impeccably made short film. In addition, when we found out that the young director Micheal Eastman is at the beginning of his career, our admiration increased even more. The quality of this project consists not only in the professionalism of its editing and cinematography, but also in the complexity of the characters that introduce us to the intimacy of a delicate and toxic relationship. Thus, despite the thriller structure whose atmosphere seems to hunt its viewer like a prey, the short film avoids the conventional narrative of the genre, slipping from the predictability of an explicit violent outcome to an implosive detonation. The two protagonists thus face not only the choices from their own past, the haunting ghosts of the gestures that marked their existential path, but also the unconscious madness of a present that imperceptibly reaches a kind of daily absurdity.
Although many years have passed, the encounter between a woman and her daughter’s ex-boyfriend triggers a series of revelations hiding many unhealed wounds. However, it is difficult to say who the monster and who the victim is – this is one of the greatest qualities of the story that doesn’t portray the confrontation of two opposite identities, but subtly explores the neuralgic points of the human psyche.
The torn humanity of the characters is, in fact, the main theme of the project, and not the more or less aberrant revenge that could repair the guilts of the past. Therefore, it is not the solutions that interest us, but the way in which each of the characters has dealt with their own suffering. This is because, removing the superficial layers that bring us even closer to their essence, we discover that their psychological drama culminates with the shocking revelations about the artificial truth through which the protagonists tried to give a new meaning to their lives, breaking so deeply the limits between reality and comforting lies, that fiction has become synonymous with normality. This sliding from the thriller atmosphere to the apparent absurdity of the gestures between the characters, supported by an elliptical but extremely well-paced script, has something of the bizareness of Yorgos Lanthimos’ films, especially “Alps”. Still, Micheal Eastman doesn’t go beyond the psychological drama to access a parabolic dimension, despite the symbols he uses with well-mastered precision. Obviously, apart from the project’s technical dimension or the storyline’s complexity that we’ve already mentioned, the work of the actors is extremely important in the gradual depiction of the multitude of emotional nuances their characters hide. But there is no point in insisting on every detail – ‘Velvet Farewell’ is the extraordinary result of well-articulated and well-harmonized creative energies that fully certify the talent of all those who helped create it.