Directed by: Don Swanson
Written by: Emily Bennett, John-Patrick Driscoll, Don Swanson
Length: 24 minutes
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What Was Lost
Joel (John-Patrick Driscoll) has been having a tough go of things. In search of a missing manuscript, he puts everything else on the back burner. Eventually, because of his obsession he loses everything. With everything accumulating and happening during one long day. His job. His wife and possibly even his life. All in the name of his obsession. That darned manuscript.
Written by Emily Bennett, John-Patrick Driscoll and Don Swanson, What Was Lost flirts with redemption through perseverance. It was left for me to decide if everything was worth it. Does finally, after all that, getting your hearts desire fill your heart? Especially with so much at stake and ultimately so much lost? After watching, I would have to say no. But I also can't help but think that not all the blame should be placed on Joel. We all obsess sometimes and rely on those we love to pick us up and carry us through. This is something Joel never seemed to get. It's easy to say he lost everything because he became so narrow minded; but that's really the easy thing to say. What Was Lost is full of characters I never really connected with, or flat out didn't like. Strangely however, the film was still interesting and approachable. I believe this is due to the production quality itself.
Don Swanson himself directed this title and did a decent enough job. The production elements were pretty good. Audio was clear and the cinematography was handled well. What Was Lost also contained a moving score that complemented the onscreen happenings. Even the story, that I summed up above was decent enough. Maybe a little lacking in depth - but what can you really do in around twenty minutes? Especially when dealing with the themes present in this title. But the characters themselves, not the acting, were just not rubbing me the right way.
You've got the hero Joel who's not hero like at all. I don't mean that he should be a mans man, or anything even remotely like that. But all I really got from him was a pathetic feeling. A crying, needy individual who is the opposite of what an "obsessive" man should feel like. Even in his situation, involving his wife, It just felt wrong. The stages of emotion are given screen time. Anger and grief. But not as much as I would suspect to be believable. And also, asking for her pity, and for her not to leave him, would not come in that moment. The moment you catch your wife cheating would normally be dominated by anger. All other feelings would come after. Everything just "felt" wrong.
The wife was not likeable at all. This is a woman who feels no remorse for what shes done and eventually does the unthinkable. Being driven into another mans arms is one thing. Not really caring one way or another is another story. I can't really say much else except to write you'll have to watch the title to understand. I may not be able to explain clearly, but know one thing. I just didn't like the character at all.
What Was Lost is not a bad short film. Not by any account. There is something about the way it's written, or put together that keeps you watching. It's only after I digested what I had just witnessed, I realized I didn't like the characters. But hey. Don Swanson has directed a micro budget film that did manage to hold my attention. More than I can say for so many others.