The Announcement (2020) – Short Film Review

Films come in all shapes and sizes with certain ideas lending better (due to various limitations such as stories or budgets) to either short or feature length films. As far as short films are concerned, the more successful films succeed at telling their stories while providing that same feature film experience within their limited running times. As an aside, we do not review too many short films here but when it comes to The Announcement, the latest short film from the director of The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova, it is a decent experience and not the worst way to spend just under 15 minutes. While the film’s premise is certainly more appropriate for a short film, its short running time was a factor in limiting its potential impact for many viewers (though some will surely get there sooner).

The Announcement is a mostly dialog-free thriller that follows a man and a woman named Olive (Bartczak) and Johnny (Mallari Jr.) who have clearly been through some traumatic experience as the remainder sees the two attempt to come to terms with the results and the repercussions of their actions. We may not know right away what they did but the emotional toll of their alleged activities should be a major indication. Meanwhile, the score and the camerawork work beautifully to accentuate the tension brought upon by this situation and the frantic nature of Olive and Johnny. Unfortunately, it was difficult to connect with them on a deep emotional level because the film takes too long to get going and essentially reveal the cause of their strife. Though the film offers some hints, it was unclear what the so called “announcement” was and however it fit in with everything else. Therefore, all the work the film did to get to that point somewhat rang hollow.

Nevertheless, The Announcement still works for the most part thanks to the decent performances from Bartczak and Mallari Jr. respectively as Olive and Johnny. Each do a decent job at bringing plenty of emotion to the table but more character development would have helped to further bridge that gap between us and them.

At the end of the day, The Announcement is a decent short film that will most likely thrill but may leave some wanting more.

still courtesy of Ezeqial Productions

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