Like any good short story, 'Rift' has all the great elements for a desirable film anyone could enjoy. Even though the story is sad and really intense, it is something one hundred percent genuine, something we clearly haven’t seen so far in any festival. Cooper Pagano’s story is centered on the story of a young girl who dies and her father who tries to reconnect with her via virtual reality. But the story is not over here; as the narrative goes by, the events are getting weird between the man and his wife and in the end we find them in a happy place… or so we thought.
What can we say more? Undoubtedly an intelligent movie, with a story that is so smooth and so deductive it will blow the mind of the viewer. Although the film looks good, the cinematography in some places could have been improved, along with the sound that could be a little bit more compressed. But luckily, these technical specifications aren’t affecting the story in a decisive way.
Even though 'Rift' is a short movie, there are some extremely powerful symbolic elements that were designed to enhance the dramatic background and that could easily be found in a feature film. For example, after the little girl dies, the couple is having dinner and the third chair at the table is left in its initial position, suggesting that someone should come and occupy it as soon as possible. Another example is the ending where, after being caught playing with his daughter in virtual reality, the man becomes aggressive and quarrels with his wife; the next scene is the one where we can find the whole family together in a small park, as happy as ever. These smooth dramatic insertions are definitely standing out and without them, this short wouldn’t have been the same. Friendly advice: if you are a Sci-Fi fan of student films of this kind, make sure you don’t miss it, all the more so it is an important life lesson for each and every one of us.
Written by Vlad A. G