REVIEW: The Second Life
– By Stephen Folklore
The premise of the new short film by filmmaker Pedro Pimentel had me initially intrigued. On a dark stormy night a stranger comes knocking at Bishop Monsignor Caldes’ residence demanding to relay his story.
Caldes is obviously afraid, but naively and reluctantly opens his door. The stranger, Joseph, now pipe in hand, settles down surrounded by the atmospheric decor and candlelight to spin his tale, one that tells of how he died, but somehow got a second chance to live again in another life, this time as a chap called John.
We see John’s life through a series of flashbacks, accompanied by narration by Joseph. In John’s life he falls in love with a widow and there’s an added story involving John inheriting some money which complicates their relationship.
Unfortunately that’s were my intrigue ended. A film that has elements of reincarnation in it surely has to be more interesting than this?
The positives of The Second Life all encompass atmosphere. It’s beautifully shot, with interior location and eye for detail being expertly done. There’s clever tricks that make it feel far grander than it actually is. The exterior shots are lovely with location being on the money, but that’s as far as it goes.
The film itself is far too long and easily could have shaved a large chunk off for better pacing. Granted the score is soaring and almost Wagner-like, but I found it non-compatible and makes the piece come off as an almost Hallmark Channel movie. The audio dialogue was also distracting.
This film may be way above my intelligence and I may be missing something clear, so apologies for my immature and trashy mind. I commend the filmmakers for their building of atmosphere and attention to detail, but anything that resembles a cross between Hallmark & Xena: Warrior Princess just isn’t my bag.