Helen meets her friend in a local restaurant for a coffee and a catch-up chat, which rapidly gets to the subject of a new man that the married Helen has had an affair with.
Written, directed and acted by Emily Woof (the reasonably well known English actress) this short seemed to me to be two things: firstly a personal film and secondly a risk. The risk was that the full involvement she has means that she falls into traps and flaws that others see but cannot convince her of. I'm not picking on her but it is something you do see with projects the work of one individual and I often thing that too much control is not a good thing. Anyway, this didn't happen here because it does work really well as a brief conversation that will stay with you. In terms of narrative it ends suddenly but for the majority the conversation is more than enough to hold the attention mainly because it seems very natural and very accurate in its insight.
How real or personal this is is not for me to guess but I will say that Woof convinces in her dialogue and her delivery. The conversation is convincing but it is also engaging because it so perfectly captures the passion of Helen in regards what she is saying. The sudden end and the open nature of the chat also means that the viewer is left to think for themselves and the film doesn't make judgement calls per se. Woof's direction is good in so much as it supports the "chat" structure by keeping the camera close to the actors and giving it a personal feel.
Meeting Helen is not a perfect film and those not used to shorts will be surprised by how quickly it gets in and out but really this is more a viewer's problem than the film. For me the short delivers because it engages the viewer, is convincing and thoughtful and that is pretty much all I could have asked for.
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