“Krisha” – Trey Edward Shults

krisKrisha is written and directed by the 26-year old American Trey Edward Shults as an expansion of his award-winning short film of the same title. Fans of the Requiem for a Dream by Darren Aronofsky will undeniably be keen on Krisha and will, by all means, consider this one a benchmark for Shults’s breakthrough.

The film got selected for this year’s Semaine de la Critique is a setting example of a personal and deep motion picture, as it is entirely shot in the filmmakers’ mother’s house. Furthermore, cast and crew seem to have worked their way in properly, since they managed to do it together in only 9 day’s time. As Shults appropriately explained before the screening: “This is our work and this is my family!”.  The main part is performed by Krisha Fairchild, Shults’ own aunt in real life, who more than definitely owes a standing ovation for her highly dramatic and confronting -but not overacted- performance. She plays the role of a rehabilitating alcoholic, who abandoned her son and left him under the good care of his aunt and uncle. Once she arrives at an annual holiday, the entire event is seen through her viewpoint, and the busy atmosphere makes her feel claustrophobic. In addition to it, the entire film is limited to this setting and never goes beyond it. Because the setting was his own house, filled with childhood memories and as Shults performs himself, one might wonder in how far the story is autobiographical or fictional. There is definitely a thin line between what is real or not, and how reality and fiction is perceived. It seems most logical though that it holds certain aspects of the actor’s own life. The teamwork between the actors has a natural feel and the ironic performance of the manic uncle Doyle (Bill Wise) serves as an extra reason for the viewer to keep watching. Everybody is curious about what went wrong in the past and what will, or won’t, go wrong in the future. The dizzying tilting and panning of the camera makes the audience see the world through Krisha’s eyes. And as the narrative progresses, the rhythm goes up and almost gets you seasick. Also the soundtrack is worth the mentioning, because of its highly dramatic pace, which supports the film perfectly. Although the cast and crew from Krisha deserves a high five for this magnificent result, just like Krisha says in the film “high four and a half!” might be more appropriate, because of the fact that she misses half a finger in one hand. This missing half a point could serve as a proper motivation for Shults to make it to the European market, like he revealed to be is interest in a short conversation after the screening.

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