'NOTHING TO DECLARE'
- Directed by Carlos Fabris -
Four women, childhood friends, meet to discuss over a problem that occured to one of them.But consensus is not easy to reach, as they develop different visions on the issue they face.
Nothing to declare left us the impression of a soap opera short film, from cinematography to content: the one minute timelapse of the city at the beggining with no connexion to the rest of the film, numerous close-ups, short dramatic lines, dramatic plots, actresses that fail to deliver convincing acting. Despite all these elements,the film attempts to tackle the dark sides of the feminine psychology, both on individual and group level and we think it managed to genuinely capture some subtle aspects of it and build a complex relationship between the characters.
CHARACTERS AND ACTING
We found the relationship between the four women quite interesting: a friendship that lasted not because of the feelings they shared, but because of the troubled events they had been through. Although their involvement in past affairs is equally deep, signs of division begin to appear when this new problem occurs, as their visions are fundementally different. Laura is the one who developed remorses over the years, up to a point where she starts threatening the unity of the group and the social status of each one of them, when stakes were really high. From our point of view, the characters had potential to grow and to develop subtle and authentic features, if more attention to details was paid. Also, we think that the film would have benefited from a more natural performance of the actresses involved; some of the scenes were completely unrealistic, such as the interview taken to the congresswoman by a reporter using a wired microphone outside.
CINEMATOGRAPHY AND PRODUCTION
We noticed the attempt to experiment and to include various filmmaking techniques and we think that it is one of the film’s strong points, even if overall can be perceived as a little too much. For example, the use of close-ups on Laura’s figure to suggest her enstragement was excessive. One thing we found as lacking professionalism was the repeated presence of typos in the subtitle. It may not be a big thing and it is not related to the filmmaking process, but it is visible and it stands as another proof that not enough attention to details was given.
Taking everything into consideration, it is also worth mentioning that Carlos Fabris is a first time filmmaker, so we really appreciate his willingness to incorporate diverse techniques in his work. Nothing to declare is a film with a powerful conflict and strongly defined characters.
We believe that this is a valuable experience for Carlos Fabris, both as a director and a
writer and that he has the potential to increase even more the quality of his work in future projects.