Reviewed: Alice – A Dark Tale of Spiritual Strength

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85

Genre: Mystery Thriller, Drama
Directed by: Geoffroy Faugérolas
Producers:  Alena Burova & Geoffroy Faugérolas
Written by: Marie-Ange Faugérolas
Cast: Masha Malinina, Alisa Schulz, Metra Dee, Carryl Lynn, Jonathan Tyler Ford, John C. Epperson
Music & Art Director: Matt Milan
Director of Photography: Jack Elliott
Run Time: 14 min.

The Craftsmanship

               Alice begins with Mary and her parents walking into the mental hospital, and as it progresses, the excellent shot choices serve to create feelings of detachment and foreboding.  There is a palpable tension to this film, and while it can’t be defined as a thriller in the sense the word is often used these days, Alice creates a psychological tension that is nonetheless thrilling.  Matt Milan’s emotional soundtrack carries the audience every step of the way, and the location couldn’t be better suited to the film.  The director shows a sure hand here, especially for someone so young, and though I think Alice would have greatly benefitted from a longer format, each of its scenes work poignantly to achieve the goals Faugérolas set for the film.  This young man is clearly willing to take risks, and though there is a moment in Alice that many may consider to be taking things a little too far, I believe this bodes well for his future career.

Alice Praying

The Acting

               Like in his newer film, The Tsarevich, Faugérolas does an impressive job in Alice of pulling a strong performance out of its young star.  As Mary, Masha Malinina is convincing, and you worry for her every step of the way.  Her confusion and fear are undeniable, and you’re on her side from the moment you first see her.  The film’s smaller details and the power of Malinina’s performance are what give this film its heart, and it’s clear that Faugérolas has a lot that he wants to say.

Alice Hospital Entry

               Many of the other characters in Alice are fairly stereotypical for this type of film, but each performance carries weight and there’s a lot of detail to think about for more intellectual observers.  With the focus clearly being on Mary, Faugérolas utilized these stereotypes to set up story that he didn’t have time to delve into in a short format.

 The Score

Alice Office

Clearly a very personal and important film for Faugérolas, Alice stands tall as a wonderful example of aestheticism going hand in hand with purpose.  Beautifully filmed with a haunting soundtrack and great acting, the only flaws in Alice come from the constraints of the short film format and trying to fit too much in.

Final Score: 8 out of 10