Short Film Review: “Infinite” – Smiling at Death

Written by Matt Butler May 19, 2016

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Infinite is about the harvesting of optimism in the face of adversity. For the context of the film, the challenge is death, and its ever-encroaching grasp on Sid (George McKay) who’s terminal (we don’t know what with, but word ‘terminal’ alone makes distinction almost irrelevant). For me, however, I was less compelled by the subject matter and more so by the technical aspects of the film itself. Using what looks like 24fps, Infinite looks and feels like watching a movie. There’s no background noise and there’s decent attention to blocking, lighting and continuity. It may sound patronizing that my compliment here is “this movie feels like a movie”, but it’s really me feeling hopeful that the technology to achieve that classic cinema look and feel is no longer exclusive to big corporate hands (Lowkey Films handles every major aspect of their short films). The only technical foul is the sound, as the audibility of the actors’ dialogue often competes with the cheery hipster electric guitar.

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Technical features aside, Infinite is a competent piece of a much larger story. Being entirely resolution, Infinite works like the third act of a movie, dropping only subtle hints of character relationships and personalities. While I’m happy we didn’t get some clunky exposition like “you guys all know I have brain cancer”, I think the film could have benefited from more visual or spoken cues pertaining to character relationships. It was stated that Sid has a closer bond with Digger (Elliot James Langridge) than with the rest of the crew, but it’s never explained why. Is he his best friend? Boyfriend? What? I understand the strength of the connection, I just don’t know what that connection is. The same goes for the rest of the crew. You get the sense they’re this tight-knit group, but never enough sense to know why. I guess I’d have bought into it more if they were more varied in their reactions to Sid’s request for a pyre of memories, rather than simple unanimous optimism.

“I’m dying though mate, I’m not dead.”

Infinite looks at a very real situation with rose-coloured glasses. It actively avoids uncomfortable complexities in favour of simple idealism. My guess is, for anyone who’s experienced terminal illness firsthand, Infinite would work as a much-needed ray of hope, but for me, a cynical over-analytical critic, I was hoping for some more hard-hitting realism, something to legitimate Sid’s insistence for this particular ritual aside from the whole ‘I’ll be infinite’ thing. It’s not like Infinite needed anything gritty, just enough negatives to balance the positives. I think it’s important that even when we cling to life’s highs, we still show keen awareness of life’s lows, as they make the highs so much higher.

My Rating: 6/10

 

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About Matt Butler

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is a strapping young English Major with a fiery passion for the art of cinematic storytelling. He likes long walks on the beach and knows the proper use of 'your' and 'you're'. (Example: I hope YOU'RE having a wonderful time browsing our site, and I hope you enjoy YOUR time reading my film reviews. I wrote them just for you.)

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