One evening while working at home, a woman hears a knock at her window and is confronted by a young girl standing outside. This is writer and director Naveen Sunag’s supernatural thriller Mom I Am Alone.
Last month Screen Critix reviewed director Naveen Sunag’s short psychological thriller Someone Same as Me, a throwback to M Night Shyamalan’s blockbusting ghost story The Sixth Sense. Someone Same as Me told the story of a young child and his imaginary friend. It was an enjoyable short film that showed director Sunag had a calm and steady hand and was able to create a suitably intriguing walk down a well-trodden path. With Mom I Am Alone, Sunag doesn’t stray too far away from his previous genre as he gives us another supernatural drama, but while this short film is not as strong as Someone Same as Me, it still manages to create some nice little moments all of its own.
Erin Dickson plays The Woman who is working from home and preparing notes for her next day’s presentation. She is then interrupted by a rapping sound on her window and is greeted by the sight of a sad young girl. In an interesting piece of subtext there is a detached sense of emotion to the discovery shown by Dickson’s woman and the resignation she conveys seems to suggest that this occurrence has happened before. The girl, played by Morgan Black, remains a sad and solemn figure throughout the film’s 5-minute run time.
The opening shot of the room is a nice and naturally lit wide shot that is filmed at a slight Dutch angle. Credit must also go to production designer Kiran Bennur for her work, an example being that there is a small green practical lamp placed in a prominent position and this makes the opening shot stand out a lot more, giving it something of a memorable touch. As the girl begins to communicate through the window, we get a two-shot and quick cuts between the two leads. The way Sunag frames the conversation as it takes place between a window and a set of blinds gives the impression that both characters are behind bars and imprisoned, symbolising how they are both trapped in their own little worlds.
The sound design by Abboud Mahjoub is a little bit hit-and-miss, with the sound effects sometimes overpowering the dialogue, while at other times it changes abruptly from silence to sound. The music itself, however, is exceptionally good, it is only two or three chords throughout but towards the end it blends seamlessly into a lovely piece of music called I Walk With Ghosts, which manages to give an epic and sweeping scope to what is actually a small film.
As a director and writer, Sunag still needs to iron out a few technical issues that hinder his execution, but he has managed to assemble a brilliantly diverse crew who can only help him to flourish as a filmmaker. What his films tell us at the moment is that, although he has some work to do, he certainly has a talent for ideas.