Saturday, April 30, 2011

Simone (2010) Short Film Review

Simone (2010) Dir. by Jason "Joops" Fragale

After a night of hard partying, Simone awakes unsure of the events that took place. The mystery deepens as her focus becomes clear leading to a chilling discovery.

This film starts out in only what can be described as a decent softcore lesbian porn... and ends in viciously horrific beauty. I'll admit that I didn't really know what to expect as I began this film. I had seen the trailer ahead of time on Youtube, but it didn't really show much, and the trailer didn't seem to have the best sound quality. It is a good thing the actual film isn't anything like that.

When Simone wakes up all disoriented and what appears to be make smeared on her face, it seems that she had a typical night for a college student. As she starts to feel ill, she realizes that there might be more to the night than she can remember. Jennifer Ward does an amazing job as Simone, and sometimes flashes what seems to be facial expression geared towards maybe she has a clue to what happened to her. Sometimes it feels like she has been through it before. I mean, as the events are transpiring, she doesn't really seem to panic at any point in time, and that fact helps build the tension even more. Like... what is this girl? Who is this girl? What has she done? When she finally discovers what she has done... you feel like you know everything about her.

With very little dialogue, this film manages to build steady tension with an absolutely amazing musical score. Some of the splashes of loud compressed music sometimes got a little annoying, but it was you well enough, that the only thing it did was spike the tension. Both actresses do an amazing job, and seem to take their roles very seriously, and making it all the more believable. The cinematography (by Jerry Orzel) in this film is what I really want to talk about. Beautifully framed shots appear throughout this film, almost making it a bit of an art house flick. Great lighting, and inventive camera angles line the screen from beginning to end, and it kept me very engaged through the film. If I had to pick on flaw of the film, it would have to be what appeared to be a continuity error near the beginning of the film, when moving to the bedroom, the beautiful Eve (Erin Cline) removes her bra, but in the very next scene in the bedroom the two girls are in their bras are feeling each other up and making out. The pace could have been picked up a little bit, but it might have only saved a minute or two, so that isn't a big deal. It probably could have received the same desired effects without the nudity, but it was done very tasteful, and it will get the little boys howling at the moon, so I respect it. That... and it doesn't really distract from the film, at least for me.

I'm really happy that Joops gave me the opportunity to view Simone, and I look forward to him eventually getting to make a feature. What he did with Simone was a fresh take on a old story, and I had a blast watching it.

Entertainment value: 8 out of 10 hairballs
Cinematic value: 7 out of 10 hairballs

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