“Eve” – Short Film Review

“Eve” is a new short film written & directed by Wesley Wang and stars Nikki Silva as homeless single mother Evie and Griffin Henkel as Evie’s rebellious son Leo. The film focuses on their struggle to find a job on the streets of Elmont, New York and to maintain their relationship over the course of a day. The film’s cinematography was also done by Dev Mitra, the director of the fantastic short film, “The Meadow.”

The best part of “Eve” is the visuals. Wang, Mitra, and editor Simon Wheeldon crafted a visual style that reflected the tone of the film and the tension between the characters. There are tons of beautiful and immersive shots & sequences which make the film appear larger than it actually is, which is a massive accomplishment.

The two lead performances were great as well. Child actors have a negative reputation and normally damage the immersion of a film through poor performances, but Griffin Henkel as phenomenal in the role. He never diminished the immersion of the film and was believable in the role of a troubled child with a rebellious nature and need for a new way of life. However, Nikki Silva was the actual breakout star of the film. She gave a truly devastating performance and captured Evie’s self-loathing & fear of failing her son perfectly. Much of the character’s dark backstory could be seen from her demeanor alone.

The film is not perfect, however, as the supporting characters and their dialogue was pretty hit-or-miss. Whenever the two leads were separated and they were talking to other people, the quality of the dialogue often shifted downward. Many of the supporting characters said stereotypical, cheesy things that didn’t fit the grounded tone of the film. The best examples of this are the bully characters who Leo encounters. They all talk as if they’re straight out of the films “Grease” or “Dazed & Confused” and act like they share a consciousness, similar to the Borg from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” or the agents from “The Matrix.” None of them have distinct characteristics that tell them apart. However, these characters have a small amount of screentime and didn’t hurt the film too much.

Although it suffers from underwritten supporting characters, “Eve” is beautiful in its imagery & themes and has two fantastic, compelling, and utterly human main characters. I strongly recommend it.

Grade: A-

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