The Same Story
by Alice Airoldi
Alice Airoldi managed to pull out an interesting and ambitious project that attracted our interest from the very first scene. Having a story that mainly revolves around a group of friends and especially Madeline, who became a journalist. The opening scene is quite unusual for a short film and we say this in a good way as it makes us remember Jackie Brown (d. Quentin Tarantino, 1997).
We appreciate that the creators made sure that the crew is shown as well in the beginning and at the end of this film, this being rarely done in short films.
The very first thing I noticed about The Same Story was how beautifully shot it was. In many independent films, the end product turns out old and kind of unnatural, much like a soap opera. But in this case I would say that it came straight out of Netflix production, maybe a pilot episode. From the quality of the video, the framing, and especially the movement I wasn’t only pleasantly surprised but overjoyed to see a purely independent film look as gorgeous as this did. And it surely made it go high on a quality scale. The result is an endlessly fascinating and thoroughly entertaining mixture of cinematic shots, flashbacks, and well-used color filters that make it easy for the audience to understand in which time we are, depending on the overall color grade.
The director aimed to create truly compelling characters which provide just one of the narrative contrasts that draw you in, slowly deepening your investment until you’re hanging on every motion and debate. The cast was tremendous and well-chosen and as the cherry on
top, the attention for details from scenography and costumes was a delight for the eye. Some scenes, especially those from ’’the good times’’ have something from the look of so-known Wes Anderson movies.
Madeline is so comfortable in this character that she creates believability even when situations and the ensemble around her lack authenticity. She pieces together different moments of what happened in various timelines with a more “and then this happened,
and then this happened” approach than with an outright narrative.
But for some reason, we find that much of the greatness of The Same Story came from the script. The dialogue and the way the story unfolded was so perfectly written and it used pictures to drive the story. And the sound was quite smooth in the transitions of a shot to another, really clean and well balanced. We enjoyed the chemistry on display here between the friends, the main characters as we can understand. Although a brief short does not give this relationship more time to develop we thought it was a fine effort from all sides.
From beginning to end, the film transmits a quiet, creeping dread, but it also makes us thrive for how the process will end. Well, we’d recommend The Same Story to anyone and everyone! It’s a tight 19 minutes so it’s easily watched and it’s a good story that will connect with and captivate audiences. It’s a true accomplishment of filmmaking in every aspect. In the end, the crew achieved to make a wonderful film and we only expect great things in the future from them!
Ligia Prodan | Film Review Specialist
FILM IN FOCUS| INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL