Short Film Review: THE WALK

2014 SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS SELECTION!
Unrated
15 minutes

****

I’m still not sure how I feel about “The Walk,” but I’m certain that’s what director Mihaeka Popescu was going for. The third act takes a very unexpected left turn and it happens so suddenly that you don’t really have time to process it before the credits roll.

It’s the snail’s pace set-up that makes it so surprising. The film begins in an old woman’s apartment where she clearly lives alone and has very little going on in her life. It takes the first three minutes of the film for the woman to stand up out of her chair, pour some tea, take some pills and look out the window. The titular walk doesn’t even happen till four minutes, thirty seconds. It all feels a bit unnecessary until you know what happens on the walk and how completely out of the ordinary it is for this woman. Without the lengthy opening, we might not find the contrast quite so jarring.

Popescu would probably prefer I not reveal the “twist” so rest assured this review is spoiler-free. But keeping the secret does make it a bit difficult to write about. I can say that I loved the lead actress, whose weathered face makes her seem like the oldest person in the vibrant city. Her character adopts a perpetual poker face, which makes the implications of the ending ambiguous. It is not clear if it is a happy or sad ending because what happens can be one of the most complicated or simple things in the world, depending on the attitude of the person involved.

One thing that is clear is that “the Walk” is a beautiful looking film, worth a watch just to pay the visit to Central Europe. Regardless of how you feel about the ending, it will be memorable.

Originally published on FilmThreat.com (now defunct).

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