A Shadow of Dara (2015) short film review

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In the future, planet Earth has been destroyed by an alien race known as the Shadows. All is not lost though, as a group of rebels seek a powerful being in the past to prevent the catastrophe. We review the short film A Shadow of Dara after the jump.

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Making a short film in any genre is difficult; there are budget and time constraints to contend with amongst may other potential pitfalls. In my opinion, the most difficult genre to do with a lack of substantial money is Science Fiction. How can the filmmaker possibly make the audience believe that a film is set in the future, when they have little funds to make the film with? Well, if you are director Kirill Proskura, you go about things in an intelligent manner. You use what resources you have at your disposal and, with hard work, talent and a great cast and crew, you can achieve what you set out to do.

A Shadow of Dara is just under fifteen minutes in length and tells the story of a man called AJ who lives a mundane existence in an office surrounded by work colleagues who continue to ask him for a series of numbers. All is not what it seems though as AJ is really a powerful alien being called Dehrin-Dara and is being kept in a fabricated reality by a dangerous race of aliens known as the Shadow.

Whilst in this dreamlike world, AJ is approached by a mysterious woman called Nataly. She attempts to bring AJ back to the real world in order to save the planet from future destruction.A Shadow of Dara 723x1024 A Shadow of Dara (2015) short film review

A Shadow of Dara is an interesting sci-fi short film that borrows some ideas from that of The Matrix and splices them with what feels like an episode of Doctor Who. This is no bad thing, as it actually works. We can tell that the budget was minimal, but Proskura and his team do very well with what they have. We see floating monitor screens like those in Minority Report, and Dehrin-Dara has, what looks like, the arc reactor on his chest (for all you Iron Man fans out there). They do a great job of mixing both visual and practical effects to notch up the production values.

The film is shot well and the sound is decent throughout, though I could tell that some ADR was used in post, but I like to think of myself having a good eye for that, so it may slip by the average viewer. The sets are all done well and the edit is good too.

Whilst the story is actually a large one, I feel that a lot has been missed by condensing into just fifteen minutes. By cutting much out, the film can be a little confusing at times. By spreading it over, say 120 minutes in feature form, Proskura could show the audience more of Nataly’s story and cut down on the exposition. Of course, making a feature of this magnitude is easier said than done. So let’s say that I hope a production company with deep pockets see the potential in this story and hire Proskura and his team to do a feature version, as I for one wold like to see the story told where the filmmaker has far less constraints and more room to bring his vision to the big screen.

4 / 5 stars     

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