– By Kriss Pickering
I’m not usually a fan of short films, even though I appreciate their role in blooding the next generation of film makers and showcasing new ideas. One short I really did enjoy though, was Aleksandra Svetlichnaya’s 2015 film, Dinner. Writing and directing a film of any length must be difficult, but the talented film maker managed both with aplomb. And now she is back with her follow up short, Breakfast!
The storyline this time follows an outing by two comic book loving pals, as they skip breakfast to get an early start looking for an exclusive release of their favourite graphic novel, The Solar Sorcerous. Unfortunately, they are told in no uncertain terms that it wont go on sale until 9am “on the dot.” As a double kick in the teeth, it turns out that’s 9am, Japanese time, which means our dynamic duo have 12 hours to kill!
To kill the time, the guys hunt around the comic book store and happen upon a strange comic called “Dermis.” The comic however is only half finished, and when the store clerk finds them reading it, he informs them it’s not for sale. After a little pressing, he tells the lads that the book is a mock up that was supposed to be part of a series, before the artist vanished into thin air. When the clerk turns his back, the duo can’t help themselves and steal the comic.
From here, things start to get a little crazy. We are taken to a big fancy suburban home, and into the bedroom of a pretty blond who is sleeping. Upon waking, she goes about her normal routine, showering etc, before a masked assassin pounces upon her. Using some masterful martial arts, she fights off her assailant and flees, stumbling upon our comic book thieves on a park bench, drawing in the comic. You see, whatever they draw, happens to this woman! They draw her to flirt with them, she does it. They draw her as a NINJA, it happens.
The boys draw more and more scenarios in the magic book, such as making her magic, putting her in gym clothes and the like. They even draw her as twins so they could have one each. After she beats the masked baddies, she takes the book from the lads, and after the credits, gets her own back!
Overall, Breakfast was a decent little watch. At 26 minutes it was a little longer than Aleksandra’s last short, and despite a few “montages” it flowed pretty well. The scenes in the comic book shop were all framed well, and no single shot seemed to drag. She also did a really good job with the fight scenes, which I can imagine are a nightmare to light and frame. These fight scenes also mesh well with the geeky comedy the film is laced with.
Acting wise, most of the cast were really good, especially when you take into consideration the (lack of) budget. The two stars (Joshua Kachnycz and Ricardo Segarra) played the classic comic book geeks turned up to 11 and were delightfully cheesy! And then there is Rebecca Buckley (who also appeared in Aleksandra’s previous film, Dinner) , who played the female lead. Her acting performance was decent enough, but where she seriously excelled was the martial arts scenes. She really did leap off the screen during the fight scenes.
To sum things up, Breakfast was a fun little watch. As already mentioned, it was a little longer that the average short, and could have done with a few of the montage shots (the comic book scene in particular) cutting down to help it flow better, but that’s nit picking really. I think I said it when I reviewed Dinner, but Aleksandra Svetlichnaya deserves backing with a bigger budget and a feature length script, as for me she has all the tools to be a very successful film maker. If you have a bit of time on your hands, then both Dinner and Breakfast are highly recommended!