Review: Edith

You may recognise the name Christian Cooke for his appearances in the series The Art of More, Witches of East End or Magic City, or films such as Hello Carter, Love, Rosie or Cemetery Junction; but this time he steps behind the camera and takes a seat in the directors chair. Written by novelist Ray Robinson (Electricity) and starring Peter Mullan, Michelle Fairley, Elliott Tittensor, Robyn Malcolm, Sai Bennett, Alex Jordan and Catherine McDonough. A story of bereavement and how to make peace with the past.

The film opens with a stark contrast, moving from the comfortable, warm environment of the local pub to the striking visuals of open land, littered with snow accompanied by a sharp score. The first example of the great work done in this short film by cinematographer Si Bell (Fortitude, Ripper Street, Electricity), taking full advantage of a beautiful landscape to add a slight intense yet stunning edge to the film. Adding to that is great directorial work from Cooke, immediately adding a sense of psychological turmoil as well as making an instant emotional connection with the audience; the speed of which is impressive and showcases some brilliant choices of direction. Helped in no small part by the forever dependable Peter Mullan, who has a spectacular talent for creating a balance of vulnerability and anger or aggression, which manages to hold your sympathy extremely well.

Mullan strongly leads this heart-breaking story, one that requires a minimal and yet extremely well written script that manages to purvey emotion without having to fill the time with heavy or unnecessary dialogue. It’s a powerful story, with a poignant message the weight of which falls into Mullan’s extremely capable hands, as he continually puts himself through the pain of his loss, with no end in sight. Michelle Fairley in contrast adds a comforting, caring presence while still portraying a character that may indeed have her own issues but simply tries to help someone in need, however reluctant they may be.

Edith is a meaningful, dramatic and yet understated story, it’s strength permeates the entire film: direction, editing, cinematography and of course, acting. There’s a lot of emotion to fit in to a mere 14 minutes but it’s done with a grace and style that’s quite impressive. This is a fantastic short and don’t fret that it’s all doom and gloom, there’s a positive message to be found amongst the sadness.

Verdict: 8/10

Watch the trailer for Edith below or check out more about the people behind the film, Mini Productions

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