Film Review: Short Form
Will Kindrachuk (Preacher, Boy Erased) serves a quadruple threat as Writer, Director, Editor, and Actor in Short Form, about an improv comedy troupe member who has a mental breakdown on stage. It’s a piece that takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion.
The direction puts you in the place of the anxious protagonist with a canted angle slowly tilting as Kindrachuk attempts to leave a voicemail to his girlfriend before he has to go on stage to perform. The voicemail sounds desperate, sporadic, and rushed.
Through a game of improv freeze tag, after sitting in the back in a slump, Kindrachuck tags himself in. He offers something beyond a performance; it’s a monologue confession of his opinion on a night he spent with friends over his girlfriend played by Hayden Price. He envisions his scene partner like his girlfriend egging him on to become angry.
The way the film effortlessly transitions from his scene space to his real life briefly is masterfully seamless. Similarly, the gradual motion of the camera throughout keeps Kindrachuk’s monologue, which takes up most of the short, feeling fluid from beginning to end. The camera stays on Kindrachuk for primarily one take. We are confined to his world and his perspective. It’s claustrophobic in a way that fits the premise.
Kindrachuk does a great job keeping the camera rolling even when it’s uncomfortable. Instead of cutting to Kindrachuk’s face, at times we get the back of his head. It’s a risky choice, but with it comes the reward of humor. Kindrachuk acts with his frantic hand motions in a way that allows the audience to know exactly what he is feeling. Similarly at the end of the piece, the camera is kept rolling to catch a wonderful awkward pause where improv members played by Michael Perez and Parry Price mimic the audience’s shock.
Kindrachuk commands attention with his hyperactive, naturalistic acting as he fights impulses of anger and sorrow. In just ten minutes you’re pulled between shock, heartbreak, and humor. Gabby Cila, who plays the captain of the improv team and scene partner to Kindrachuk sells the monologue with her mouth agape reaction.
At only 20, Kindrachuck shows a promising future not only as a performer but a filmmaker, and studios should keep their eyes out for what he has coming next.