Review of: The Familiar Face (original version) 

reviewed by agaul on 04/29/2005
agaul
About "...Face"
There's much to like in this dark story of debt and "repayment". There's some wonderful cinematography, proficient camerawork and editing, and effective scoring. The performances, on balance, are good. The narration, often a stumbling block in short films, doesn't distract here. The locations are authentic, and the overall production values are a cut above the normal fare found on this site. I do have some questions/concerns. I question some of your post-production decisions. The use of color/b&w from scene to scene seems random. I'm not a fan of the freeze-framing or series of cross-fades that were employed in certain scenes (although I consider this a minor criticism). The soundtrack, while good, is sometimes jarring as it shifts dramatically in tone from scene to scene.
On the narrative side, my major concern is that the story seems to be spinning it's wheels. The entire "borrowing money" plot feels like a build-up to the main conflict, but that conflict never comes. Instead, we're brought right to the conclusion. In other words, it feels like Act II of a three-act narrative is missing.
On the whole, this is a wonderful first effort (and just a plain wonderful effort), and is very easy to recommend. Thumbs up.

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