Drijf Movie Review

Written by Joanna K. Neilson

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Written and directed by Levi Stoops
2023, 15 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Film Maudit 2.0 screening on 12th June 2024

Starring:
Levi Stoops
Anemone Valcke


Review:

What would you do to survive the ocean? Would your relationship survive the extreme demands? Why are these people trying to sail out on a log? Why are they, apparently by default, naked?

We might never find out all the answers, but the story it tells is delightfully human.

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Aurora and Jeremy are a couple on a mission to see some dolphins! So they naively paddle out into a vast expanse of water, hoping to see and play with the elusive creatures. Unfortunately, they are so poorly prepared for their waterborne adventure that, for reasons best known to themselves, they forget to wear any of clothes and also seem to think a log will be a good substitute for a boat. It’s actually a miracle they remembered to bring a paddle each.

Given the nekkidity, and their naivety, the vibe seems to be: ‘Adam and Eve take a very ill-advised trip’, Once they get out onto open water, and fail to find any dolphins, they also completely forget the original direction they came from. Now adrift in the unforgiving sea, Aurora and Jeremy’s desperation to survive veers from bleak to hilarious, and even deeply affecting. Despite their life-threatening situation, it’s also endearingly silly. Even the opening scene where Jeremy anxiously ‘interacts’ with the paddle is distractingly hilarious.

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With the sense not to waste precious time setting up the couple’s situation beyond ‘this is where they are, this is how they try to deal with it’, the real fun grows in how it tests their very believable relationship. Aurora and Jeremy’s veer from determination to exasperation, and even great tenderness for each other as the situation becomes ever-more desperate. Each hour of harsh exposure is rocked by struggles, hunger and madness. And the sunburn. Good grief, the naked sunburn…

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This is a very impressive dark survival comedy, with just a pinch or two of horror. A gorgeous animated short that uses every bit of its fifteen minutes to make a sweet, yet appropriately deep point about pushing past your comfort zones to survive. An experience like this might even make you grow as a person – although it seems even that won't guarantee great wisdom!

Moving, heartfelt, and darkly funny, this beautifully made short film really shouldn’t be missed.

Grades:

Movie: 4 Star Rating Cover
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