Written, edited and directed by lead actor Anush Kiron, the most personal thing that anyone could ever ask for is memories and one man finds himself stuck in the afterlife fighting to keep them.
Lockdown forced a lot of filmmakers to start getting creative and using the limited resources at home to keep making films, which is what Kiron did. He plays a man who’s forced to play games in order to keep his fading memories in the afterlife, and unfortunately, he isn’t very good at it. It’s an interesting concept, fighting for the life you once had though for anyone who didn’t play a lot of video games during that life, it’s fairly cruel. Using in-game footage is a creative use of the resources at hand and initially does help to add a little space, to keep it from being one long shot of just Kiron.
However, once the concept is given a little more time to develop, it doesn’t feel fleshed out enough, it’s jumping straight into the story and providing no context of how this afterlife exists or a larger exploration of the rules. Granted there’s little time to investigate them too far in its 5-minutes, but the repeated use of one picturesque panning shot of who is assumed to be the lead’s wife, as well as a fair amount of the gaming footage, could have been cut down to instead allow the story to develop. That in-game content is interesting to begin with but it becomes repetitive as time goes on, it would have been nice to simply stay with the character and have a larger dialogue. It also begs the question of why worthiness would be tested with driving games, which given there’s no explanation at all, is slightly messy, it asks you to forgive or assume a little too much.
With the whole film otherwise resting on the shoulders of its one and only visible actor, Kiron does well, he shows a solid amount of emotion that comes from a very relatable place. It’s great that using such a small space, he tried to add some movement through the editing, it is rough at times but it does serve that purpose of adding variety. The direction is simple but taking into account the limited resources, that simplicity similarly fits the film’s aim, it only becomes an issue with the overuse of additional footage, which takes away too much of the focus and tone. For the most part, when focusing on Kiron, the tone is soft, melancholy and even loving, it does hold the presence he was clearly going for.
It’s well worth applauding the creative spirit of those like Kiron who haven’t let the past few months stop them from making films, it’s been a time of struggle for a lot of people so to be able to put something together such as this is definitely an achievement. It’s a little rough and messy in places, and it could have done with a stronger direction or larger exploration of the story to really round things out in satisfying manner. However, Kiron gives a solid performance that’s relatable and emotional, and it’s great to see someone making an effort to keep their skills sharp during this rather placid time.