The Second Life (2017) short film review

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A man relays a story regarding his past incarnations to a Bishop one rainy night in the atmospheric short film The Second Life from director Pedro Pimentel. Check out our review.

With a few short films already on his resume, including The Priest, I Said: Smile!, and Magical Law Enforcement; Brazilian film maker Pedro Pimentel has now created an intelligent and thought-provoking short film entitled The Second Life.

On a dark and rainy night, Joseph (William Galatis) turns up at the door of a Bishop named Monsignor Caldas (Craig Capone) demanding to be heard. Afraid that a psycho has reached out for him, Caldas allows his visitor to talk and tell the tale of how he had once died but been given the chance to walk the Earth again in another vessel, one of which he named John.

The story is continued and seen through flashbacks showing snippets of his past life, like when John met a widow whom he fell in love with, but not all is what it seems.

The Second Life is a beautifully shot short film. You can easily see that a lot of time and effort had been spent making each shot look right in terms of lighting, composition, framing and colour. The use of candles is done really well and adds to the mood of the scenes. Even the little things like seeing the rain hit the window whilst Caldas and Joseph are talking inside the house are the kind of efforts that I really appreciate. They don’t go unnoticed.14589586 1322748034411503 6520505114444510771 o 691x1024 The Second Life (2017) short film review

The performances are all strong by the actors involved and I especially enjoyed Galatis’ narration and story-telling. There was something sinister about how he relayed his story, even when he was talking of love. Props also need to be given to Pimentel for his screenplay, he did exceptionally well in adapting the short story by the late Brazilian author Machado de Assis. Even though de Assis died in 1908, it’s wonderful to see young film makers still looking to turn his material into new works.

Whilst I enjoyed the performances, visuals and script of The Second Life, the element that really hit home for me was the score. Composed by Ariel Contreras-Esquivel, the accompanying music is big, orchestral and utterly captivating. It’s the type of score that you would expect from a large budget Hollywood epic, but it still fits in nicely with this 30-minute long short film.

As you can tell from what I have wrote so far, I really did enjoy The Second Life, but that is not to say I believe it to be a perfect film. I did have some issues with pacing and I do believe that it could have been trimmed down by about ten minutes. But still, The Second Life is truly a great piece of work made by some talented individuals.

4 / 5 stars     

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