Is this real?
Directed by: Aditya Vishwanath
Written by: Raj Jawa, Kuber Kaushik
Cast: Dylan Quigg, Christian Wennberg, Jener Dasilva
Swift shot: Shadows Fall is a compelling story that wasn’t told very well. I don’t like to pick on indie filmmakers, as I am learning first-hand just how difficult it is to make films happen. But, I can’t pull punches just because there wasn’t a significant budget available to make the movie. The editing left me perturbed throughout. Someone was searching for their inner David Lynch, but ended up falling significantly short. There were a few salvageable moments in the story, but the complete package could have been delivered better.
Senka (Quigg) is trapped; she’s made a deal with a dark entity of the underworld that somehow allows her to live with her recently murdered husband, Jonas (Dasilva). There’s only one caveat, she can never leave the house. If she tries, she faces consequences.
The Demon Amis (Wennberg) is Senka’s tormentor throughout and her constant reminder that she has placed herself in her own living hell . . . all for love. But Amis has his own demons tormenting him as well.
The story was very difficult to follow, several places in my notes I simply wrote . . . WTF? That isn’t a good sign, when I have to guess at what the hell is going on in a story. The only part that really made any sense to me was the introduction of the pestering neighbor, Rain (Kinsey Diment) and her husband Wilhelm (Talmage Tidwell). And they only seemed to exist to draw Senka out of her self-sentenced prison.
The editing was sub-par, several scenes were just Jonas running randomly around town, or in a parking garage, and I still have no idea what happened to him, just that he was stabbed to death by some freakish looking robber . . . at some point in time that is inscrutable. And there was a point where I guess Jonas ended up killing his murderer, but I can’t say for sure. I can’t tell you that anything in this movie actually happened or when it happened, except for the very end.
Shadows Fall wasn’t a total failure, though, as once I pieced together Senka’s fate, the message was compelling and novel. I just wish the story-telling was handled better in editing. I presume a more linear approach could have helped with the concept of when things were happening. And, for the record, I can deal with avant-garde, outré films that aren’t spoon fed to me. But there needed to be a bit of a sinew to hold the body of the story together.
In the final scene, I was able to connect the dots and get what was happening, but it was a struggle I didn’t wholly appreciate. Unless you are an indie film junkie who relishes esoteric work, I don’t see you giving much consideration to Shadows Fall in its current form. I actually believe this film should be re-edited and given another chance someday to see the light and emerge from its own shadows.