A young man goes outside for a late-night cigarette only to recall a traumatic event in Jacob Thompson’s short film Smoke. Check out our review.
The beauty of reviewing short films and independent features is having the chance to see up-and-coming filmmakers developing their skills and style. To be given the opportunity to watch and critique the works of creatives with a new voice is a privilege. So, here we have Jacob Thompson returning to the online pages of Screen Critix with his latest offering; a six-minute short called Smoke.
A young man (played by Christian Hutchins) steps outside into the cold, dark night for a cigarette. Dropping it to the floor before even having managed to light it, something is obviously playing on his mind. Through the use of flashbacks, we get to see what that something actually is – a traumatic event involving a break-in with an armed burglar.
Many writer/directors, using the same premise, would likely show the burglary itself as the main story, but Thompson is wise to mix things up and focus on the aftermath and how such an event stays deep within the psyche for a long time following such an incident. Decisions such as these set apart the “okay” filmmakers from the special ones. Thinking outside of the box is, I feel, an important part of standing out from the crowd. Now, I’m not saying Thompson is the finished product, but he certainly has the potential to go far if he keeps honing his craft and developing
Smoke does have some cinematic flair, the choice of shots and sounds all add to a good six-minute experience. There are some issues though that could be addressed for future creations, including the really low light-levels on the exteriors shots and it did look like the frame rate changed on one shot, but other than that, Smoke is a short but good effort and one that I enjoyed watching.