FILM REVIEW: Blurred Lights

A first from Offie Mag, as Gianluca Leo reviews an independently produced ‘Visual EP’ from some young creatives.

On a shoestring budget, fledgeling music producer Lohanna and upcoming filmmakers Duncan/Harris have joined forces to create a visual EP that showcases the music from the soon to be released ‘Blurred Lights EP,’ as well as a thoroughly impressive short film.

Lohanna, A.K.A. Kriss Thakar, is a Southampton-based producer and recording artist who has just launched his own label, ‘House of XYL’ and has decided to promote his new EP ‘Blurred lights’ by creating a disconcerting yet intriguing visual spectacle.

Aided by creative filmmaking duo Duncan/Harris, the short film manages to capture the essence of love, heartbreak and university living into one neat twenty-minute parcel split into two parts — with an accompanying self-produced soundtrack by Lohanna that seems to marry up to the visuals seamlessly.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Guilt. Relationships. Drinking.Uni.

Adam Ayadi who plays ‘Sam’ is consumed by the guilt of his last relationship with ‘Beth,’ played by Tereza Dušjová, seeing glimpses of her seemingly everywhere he goes.

To remedy his pain, he and his friends decide to have a classic university night out, consisting of the infamous routine of Ring of Fire, excessive drinking and motivational ‘lets have a good night tonight lads’ pep talks that are seen on almost every university campus up and down the country.

It’s when they finally all make it out and we are introduced to the fantastic Hattie Jackson, who plays ‘Chloe,’ that marks the descent into the so-called rabbit hole…

I won’t give away any spoilers but I will say that certain events lead Sam down a dark path that seems to get more and more sinister as time progresses.

Splitting the film into two parts was a fitting choice, as events within the film markedly shift between the two parts — to the detriment of the protagonist, Sam.

 

Blurred Lights

 

WHAT’S GOOD?

Despite Adam Ayadi being the main protagonists of the piece, it is the aforementioned Hattie Jackson who steals the show. She plays her role as chief instigator of bad decisions to a tee, and comes across as the visual embodiment of quintessential university living.  

Not to take away from the performance of Adam who plays his guilt-stricken role with consummate ease and will almost certainly relate to any student who has been in his position.  

The filming and editing itself are to a professional standard and I loved countless yet seamless transitions from setting to setting.

Lohanna’s music (which will be reviewed once fully released) syncs up so well to events on screen that its clear the visuals were made with the songs in mind. Ordinarily, creative expression in filming a visual EP could turn into something that doesn’t resemble the music of the artist at all.   

WHAT’S LESS GOOD?

I think Tereza Dušjová (Beth) could’ve done with bit more airtime in order to fully ram home the emotional scarring that she evidently left upon Sam. Her significance in the plot warranted a greater role in the film.

If I am going to nitpick, the “father” phone call scene that opens the piece came across comical to me which I don’t think was intended – perhaps due to the voice actor clearly being no older than eighteen.

Apart from a few very questionable dance moves from the extras in the club scene, it’s proved difficult to find too many faults with the visuals on the whole.

BAG IT UP…

On two creative levels, both Lohanna and Duncan/Harris have shown notable potential in both the music and filming circuit, and with both planning on creating more projects in the future, I look forward to seeing what they come out with next.

7.5/10

You can watch it here: http://www.houseofxyl.com/

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