Review: Dig

Written and directed by Gary J Hewitt, a mother searches a secluded beach, determined to find a certain item, that will bring her some closure. Starring: Susan Sims and Sophie Clifton.

Even before the story has revealed itself at all, you can feel the heavy dose of sadness that sits within it. Then as things move forward, it does a great job of smoothly and subtly communicating the themes of loss, grief and a desire to cling to the memory of better times. Just as you think you know everything this story has to offer, it adds an extra gut punch. The progression is well done, fitting in a good deal of emotion and depth in just eight minutes.

Using a non-linear timeline is extremely common in today’s cinema but it’s not always done well, Gary J Hewitt, along with the cinematography from David Donaldson, achieves it clearly and effectively. It shifts through different tones and palettes to separate past from present, which creates a great separation between the range of emotions at work and helps to add layers to the film. It’s then topped with a score that further embraces the emotional nature to the story and is nicely subtle.

Susan Sims leads the story with a big sincerity, Dig is another film that doesn’t rely on dialogue, especially not in its heaviest moments so the majority of the emotion is conveyed without it. Sims manages that challenge well, she perfectly translates the weight of the story and the feeling of being lost that comes with grief. She also captures how imperfect it is, no-one ever truly knows how to deal with loss so they stumble along in whatever manner they can think of, or manage. Sophie Clifton deepens the sadness to the story by bringing such a lightness and naivety.

Dig portrays a moving example of grief, a mother’s love out to drift and trying desperately to find something to rescue it. Susan Sims leads with a keen grip on that feeling of loss, bringing to life the desperation and sense of being lost. Hewitt’s direction does a wonderful job of separating the past and present through the atmosphere and colouring, moving back and forth between happiness and sorrow. It has a few unexpected elements to add to the mix and has a very well done score to provide the finishing touch.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯ | 8/10

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