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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'VIULU'
- Directed by Ramin Sohrab -

This action packed short film depicts a bloody gangster conflict.

A beaten man enters a fast-food asking for a free meal, in exchange for leaving his violin as a deposit until the following day. Later that night, the vendor is attacked and the instrument is stolen. Finding out about the happening, the owner of the violin decides to pursue the thieves, which are part of a criminal gang he used to work with. As they try to blackmail him, the protagonist sets on a furious killing spree. After this violent event, he takes the musical instrument to the tomb of its true owner, who is his deceased wife.

This melodramatic plot is packed with lots of action but lacks a relevant structure and a well-rounded character. The audience doesn’t know anything about him in order to relate to his obsession for the lost violin and until reaching the end of the film, his actions seem bizarre, leaving the impression of a parody. The details of the plot make it even less believable: why would a gangster leave an expensive violin, that also carries sentimental value, to a feeble streetfood server in exchange for a meal? And also, the actions of his suppressors are unlikely, as they seem to have enough resources in men and ammunition in order to bring by force a dreaded rival. The subject of his suffering is shown tardily and there is no build-up of the situation in order for the resolution to be impactful. The spectator is left just with a sense of wonder.

While we understand the efforts put into making an action film with a small budget, we think that appropriate stylistic choices have their fair share of importance. We find a lack of coherence in the use of image and editing effects and the overall impression is one of confusion. Another issue is that the central action sequence, the fighting between the protagonist and the gang, is highly implausible. It’s true that many action films incorporate this type of scene, but they make it believable through the superhero powers of the characters. In this film, the protagonist uses weapons and the others just their physical force, which makes no sense.

As a conclusion, this is an action film that superficially tackles this genre. A much more attention to detail should have been put in building the story and the visual identity of this short.