This week’s short film review comes from Lebanese filmmaker Nour Wazzi who is known for her work on Oscar-nominated Waste Land.
Now she’s at the helm of new thriller Baby Mine, a thriller that sees a child abducted by her father and her panicked mother doing everything she can to get her daughter back.
Running at 19 minutes, there’s plenty of time to build suspense and mystery and this is something I thought the short film does very well. It really knows how to tease its audience.
In the first few minutes, young Etti is kidnapped, causing her mother Sarah (Rachael Stirling) some significant distress. Any mother would panic after losing their child, but the audience soon realises that Etti is terminally sick.
Sarah’s house is filled with Get Well Soon cards, and she mentions that the doctor would be paying Etti a visit. She’s also called downstairs for medicine, implying that this is a routine she’s all too familiar with.
Etti disappears silently, but we soon find out that Sarah’s estranged husband Soroush (Alexander Siddig is behind the abduction. But what are his intentions with his daughter?
Sarah isn’t alone in the hunt for her daughter. She recruits neighbour Mike (Alex Ferns) to help her find Etti, as he witnessed the kidnapping.
However, it soon becomes clear that Mike has unmistakable prejudice against Middle Eastern people, and some hidden secrets.
The quality of the performances in Baby Mine are incredible, everyone shines in their roles as we try to unravel exactly what’s going on and if people really are who they say they are?
Teamed with a script that’s both very well written and paced, the film keeps you guessing until the big reveal at the film’s climactic moment. There is a huge twist, but I bet you won’t see it coming! I definitely didn’t.
I also loved how well shot the film was, and its use of colour created a really dark, shady atmosphere which added to the overall experience. It’s a very clean, carefully considered film and the amount of work that’s gone into it is clear.
The film is an uncomfortable watch, as we find out exactly why Etti was kidnapped by her father. It’s full of dramatic twists and turns, and is a must-watch for anyone looking for a complex, challenging thriller.
It’s a film that challenges stereotypes and makes the audience think long after the credits have rolled. It addresses gender, race, parenthood and perception. Highly recommended.
You can watch the film in full below, thanks to Omeleto on YouTube. This film has been shared with permission from the filmmaker.
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