Movie Review: 'Edith' (2016)

Edith (2016) Short Film - Movie Review - Eclectic Pop
Written by Ray Robinson, “Edith” unravels the story behind a widower’s besieged memories of the past. Jake (Peter Mullan) lost his wife, Edith, nine months before the film begins. Struggling to cope, he spends some time at the local tavern, where the lively Sheila (Michelle Fairley) hopes to brighten his spirits.

Sheila’s attempt to help him generates a strong reaction from Jake, who is sent spiraling down a rabbit hole of past memories that have plagued his idealized marriage. Edith had a secret, which Jake knew about, and had chosen to keep secret himself. Will he be able to make peace with his past, before a chance at a beautiful future with Sheila, passes him by?

"Edith" is an absorbing drama that addresses how buried secrets can have long-term ramifications, especially when not confronted in life. While Jake’s love for Edith is true, and abiding, “Edith” makes viewers consider its namesake's through an arguably more objective standpoint than Jake's.

It is hard to know for certain given the brief window viewers are allowed into Jake and Edith's marriage. Regardless, Jake is faced with a future without her, where these questions cannot be answered, a bitter tragedy within itself.

Edith (2016) Short Film - Movie Review - Eclectic Pop - Mini Productions
These questions, make “Edith” provoke thought, well after it ends. Actor Christian Cooke’s directorial debut hones in on the depths of sorrow, and the distorting sentimentality that often accompanies the view of a loved one through grief’s anguished lens.

“Edith” features a stunning cascade of sharply-directed visuals, which eloquently tie the past with the present, while subtly hinting at their irreparable bond. A soft instrumental score underlines the dizzying emotions surrounding the on-screen revelations.

Peter Mullan gives a poignant performance as the bereft Jake. Allowing the emotion that transfixes Jake's recollections to deftly channel through his eyes. While co-star Michelle Fairley gives a warm turn as the compassionate Sheila. Proving her range impressively extends beyond the harsher characters, she is popular for portraying so marvelously on the hit series, “The White Princess” and “Game of Thrones.”

And keep an eye out for Sai Bennett, whose nearly wordless performance stirs some of “Edith’s” most pivotal moments. Like her work in “The Face of an Angel,” Bennett's turn as a since-departed character crafts a crucial context, which helps sketch-in the film's backstory. A contribution that should not be underestimated, or overlooked.

Backed by these strong central performances, “Edith” manages to cover vast emotional territory in a brief period of time. “Edith” is an intensely emotional piece of cinema about making peace with the past, and it does so with riveting reflection. Rating: 7.7/10

[Featured Images by Mini Productions Limited]

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