Cindy and her Mother plan to have the best birthday party ever. When Jonas is the first to arrive, he starts to worry when he sees no other children or decorations, and that the party is downstairs in the basement.
It's often hard to write a long piece about a short film. What one takes away from a film that is only six minutes long is extremely subjective. We are given but a glimpse into a vision that the director is trying to share and whether that glimpse is enough for us to understand the vision really depends on the ability of the filmmaker. The short film is, arguably, immeasurably more difficult to pull off than its feature-length counterpart.
Cindy's Birthday Party is the brain-child of father-son team, August and Frank Aguilar, who are the director and producer respectively. Recently returning from Midsummer Scream film fest and convention — and four other festivals prior — Cindy's birthday party is being relatively well received throughout the indie circuit. The film stars Maddie Giorgio as Cindy, Dylan Busch as Jonas, Merri Field Giorgio as The Mother, Dan Busch as the chauffeur, and Jett Green as the second birthday guest.
Firstly, respect needs to be given to Dylan Busch and Maddie Giorgio, our leading lad and lady. Working with child actors, especially in the indie scene, is probably a daunting task. These two did a fantastic job of coming across magnificently in their roles and were wholly believable from start to finish, never breaking character. Filming an entire short centered on a pair of kids is a brave strategy, one that only just pays off.
My biggest gripe with the short was the audio; the score is way too high pitched (or maybe just too loud and overbearing) and reminded me of a bad 90's sci-fi. The Mother was also mostly sensed in the short in the form of a voiceover that sounded like someone talking to themselves in a soap opera — like when they are thinking about how to kill off their husband and replace him with his twin...
The makeup and SFX were minimal but well done, with the closing scenes showing off what must have been a lot of the budget. The setting, cinematography, editing, and technical details were very well polished and deserving of praise. We never really get to know what exactly the bigger picture is concerning the central evil of the film, but that's not a bad thing as speculating can be fun and we are given just enough to wet our appetites.
Overall, the film was enjoyable and well-acted, which is impressive when the cast is still learning to spell. If you are lucky enough to be near a screening, try to check it out. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid.
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