Caleb Reese Paul's short film 'Mirage' follows the story of Leah (played by Camille Blundell), a young woman running away from something threatening her life. The danger is real, and she tries to find a way to stay safe. Whilst running, she encounters an old abandoned gas station where she takes cover. For a moment, she feels safe, but it's hard for her to properly calm down as her clothes are stained with blood, meaning she went through something horrific. At some point, she hears someone coming and hides behind the counter, but the person is a young man named Jack (played by Max Ardrey), who comes to answer a noise he heard from outside.
In 'Mirage', we noticed two main focus points that foreground the spotless technique used in this short. First of all, it is the way in which the characters are built. For example, Leah comes running from someplace, and her clothes are stained with blood. Then, when she gets inside the gas station, she cleans her clothes and hands and then rushes under the counter when someone asks for her. This character is constructed to be powerful and fearless. Even without a good back story, we can easily imagine an origin story for her. Also, the fact that Jack comes from thin air and seems to be the hero this short needed right before the ending is intriguing. And that leads us to the second part that impressed us – the end. It is hard to say precisely what this short is about and where the story goes further. Caleb Reese Paul crafted this short in such a way that the viewer can project their own ending and beginning, with different, valid options for the character's evolution.
'Mirage' is one of those few films that open up in the viewer's eyes and minds and, like an ideal gift box, gives each and every one of them the story they have been expecting.
Written by Vlad A. G