About – After years apart, a young couple are reunited, where they reminisce on past events and current affairs.

Written and directed by Mark Blackman, who also produced ‘Neon’, comes this very tense and meaningful conversation between a young man and woman. The script entices us to feel an emotional connection towards both individual characters and the direction of the film was done in a way, by wanting you to feel more from the narrative, which enhances that connection.

‘Animus’ is shot in a 4:3 aspect ratio. By doing this, it puts the character’s face’s and emotions directly into our view. This is done so we feel that on-screen relationship with the characters and gives us an honest reaction through the performances.

There are only two characters visually Sienna (Katie Goldfinch) and Elliot (Johnny Sachon). However, they talk about other characters that we don’t interact with. This can be quite confusing for the viewer to relate to the people they’re talking about.

Sienna (Katie Goldfinch) has been to her parents house which is near Elliot, this is where we find her in a car and later communicating with Elliot. Katie Goldfinch portrays Sienna in a likeable way, her performance is enhanced by the aspect ratio and her facial expressions. Katie’s voice is very soothing, which again brings a likability to her character. By having a soothing voice in this close situation, it ushers a friendly and welcoming invite into this tense drama.

Elliot (Johnny Sachon) is confused and feeling sorry for himself, he doesn’t want to leave his hometown because he has everything already on his doorstep. Which portrays the sense of a ‘comfort zone’. Elliot seems as though he can look after himself but from the outcome he is struggling. Johnny Sachon does this brilliantly and his performance is again intensified by the aspect ratio. For us the viewer, we need to feel sorry for Elliot or even dislike him. Thanks to Johnny’s delivery this was achieved and we are left confused how to feel for the character, especially due to how he interacts with Sienna. However, what Johnny brings to the character is a stability for us to think, which is key for the narrative to be successful.

The score is composed by Simon Slater who has composed short films, TV series’ (3 episodes) and TV movies and a feature. However, he is also an actor that has been credited for over 40 roles [IMDB].
The score within ‘Animus’  amplifies the drama effectively, which in turn enhances the intensity of the production with a slow classical piano and high pitch melodies, helping us fix on the characters and listen closely to what they say.

Overall, ‘Animus’ is a tense drama between a young couple that have been parted for years. We witness the relationship unfold right in front of us but are left wanting the narrative to carry on so that we can see the outcome of this complex situation. The performances were brilliant; they were professionally executed which helps us retain the likeable relationship with Sienna and Elliot. The score and the aspect ratio draws everything together excellently, which is exactly what we need in order to feel the raw emotion and intensity during this drama.

Rating – 5/5

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