The majority of the crimes, including rape, kidnapping, and murder, happen due to love, be it unrequited or fetish. It is the inapt understanding of love that has unceasingly consumed people, mainly the youth, with sinful thoughts and intoxicating emotions leading them to an irreversible path. Marc Cartwright’s intelligent Short film We Die Alone emphasizes the said subject.
Encircling the lives of 3 individuals, who share different perspectives towards true love, the film works as an allegory on the superficial understanding of people about relationships, while also highlighting the art of socializing.
Shot and edited like a feature, this is a superbly helmed short film with very fluid storytelling. The writer-director Marc Cartwright has an excellent command over the script, which gets surprisingly unordinary support from the actors.
We Die Alone Is a Smartly Written Short Film, with Sharp Dialogues
The story is about a loner guy named Aidan (Baker Chase Powell) who has trouble connecting with women. He lives an old-school life, where a vintage telephone and numerous jigsaw puzzles have satiated his need for a smartphone. Though it is a deliberate decision, for him to keep his social anxiousness inconspicuous from everyone.
Right from the beginning, we learn of Aidan’s extreme lack of confidence in interacting with women. Though he manages to chat camouflaged on dating platforms, he completely shudders when meeting someone in person.
The only woman he would talk sanely with is Elaine (Ashley Jones), a work colleague. Anyone beyond her is out of the question.
One day, when a new girl from the opposite apartment named Chelsea (Samantha Boscarino), asks him for a favor, an unforeseen hope emerges for Aidan as he believes he has found the one he was looking for. What happens next, in an unlikely turn of events, is for you to discover.
The story is very engaging. Despite having seen introverts on-screen several times before, both in feature-length and short films, the characters in We Die Alone stand out. They are well-defined and benefit from a layered screenplay.
Even at 24-minutes, the narrative is multi-dimensional. There is a brilliant twist in the second half that subverts the story from point A to H within seconds. Around that time, a handful of dialogues give away some crucial details, which are hard to be underlined as substantial in the first viewing. It is only when the twist hits you, you rewatch the film and acknowledge the writers’ intelligence in formulating the dialogues. (kudos to both Cartwright and Cassie Keet).
The Characters are Superbly Acute and Magnificently Portrayed
Each of the 3 characters: Aidan, Elaine, and Chelsea, are well-distinguished. Aidan, for one, is very acutely portrayed. His fears and anxieties seem instantly relatable. Its the second time I am seeing Baker Chase Powell in a film (previously in Dolemite is My Name), and the way he juggles between expressing extreme sadness to sudden unease, and quivering is magnificent.
His long hairs and downcast expressions personify the characteristics exceptionally well. It is remarkable to see him in one of the climactic moments, where his character undergoes a strong range of emotions. I will surely be checking out more of his work, for he is a talent to watch out.
The other two characters are played by Ashley Jones and Samantha Boscarino, as Elaine and Chelsea. Jones’ character gets the least amount of screentime as Aidan’s work colleague. Yet, Jones (True Blood, The Bold and the Beautiful) makes her character endearing from the get-go, and it has to do with her vast experience in the Television industry.
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The major astonishment, however, comes from Samantha’s portrayal of Chelsea. Her character gets the best arc in the movie, and she does an excellent job of emoting the right expressions. One specific scene in the film causes a significant turnaround, where the tonal change is entirely reliant on her performance. And boy, she plays it so naturally.
She was the only face I did not find familiar, and hence, she took me by the most surprise.
Significant credit also goes to Marc Cartwright for having a firm grip over every scene. I genuinely admire his directorial vision for subverting the story. I have seen quite a lot of short films off-late, where the grand ideas do not always translate well in motion. This film gets its story illustrated correctly.
Ultimately, We Die Alone is a terrific short film that confers its takeaways powerfully. It has an amusing twist up its sleeve, that mandates for a repeat viewing. If you find the realization of predicting the narrative all wrong delightful, you will surely have a great time.
We Die Alone is produced by Glass Cabin Films and releases next Friday, i.e., August 21st, on Amazon Prime. Watch the trailer below.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Name some of the films which took you by great surprise. Leave a reply below in the comments section.