Terrell Lamont does it again with another amazing work of storytelling perfection. Complicated is short, sweet, and powerful.
Today’s film is the 2017 short film Complicated written and directed by talented up and coming Director Terrell Lamont and produced by his production company gritHouse films.
Complicated is a fascinating look into a post apocalyptic world as told through the eyes of a child. The nameless protagonist runs through her day to day life just trying to survive in an urban wasteland. As she overcomes many dangers she finally settles down to sleep in a old skateboarding ring only to be woken by the twist that makes it absolutely awesome.
When I was told this film was by the very talented Terrell Lamont I got very excited. If you have been following my reviews then you will have undoubtedly read and possibly watched his other feature film on Film Fervor, Hush Money. Hush Money was a nearly flawless film and really showcased the talent available to director Lamont so naturally I had very high expectations for Complicated and I was certainly not disappointed. Before I get into the meat of the film one amazing thing needs to be said right up front, this film wasn’t planned on being made. The production of the film was quickly put together to replace another project that had suffered some catastrophic setbacks that forced them to abandon the project but not wanting to waste his crew’s time Terrell Lamont dug out a script he had been working on for some time and shot it on a micro budget and tight time table to get it out. Normally when you hear this you expect a rushed job that is barely coherent but this is absolutely not the case with Complicated.
The film, inspired by the Poem Life is so Complicated by Shilpa, is harrowing tale of being forced to face your own mortality and the harshness of the world by a child who has lost their innocence in the face of disaster. The entire film is done with a voice over of the young actress questioning how things had become so difficult as she struggles with her daily routine of just surviving. From the girl hunting small rodents for food to the barely seen people watching her through a broken fence you are deeply emerged into the story and feel a real sense of danger along with the character, this is exactly what you want in a survival film and Complicated handles it beautifully. Though you never learn the character’s name you can’t help but feel a connection with her as she suffers along this dark world while beseeching the viewer to answer her hopeless questions. This is all thanks to the wonderful writing of the script to make the story feel so real and alive, something that has become a common trend with Terrell Lamont’s films and makes them a joy to watch.
The production quality of the film is nearly flawless which is utterly amazing considering this was a last minute project put together with small budget and barely a thought to even have it published. Each scene of the film is carefully shot to give the viewer a sense of oppression and anxiety with the ever looming threat of danger around the corner and while no hostiles are ever seen you can feel their presence just out of screen shot. To me this is one of the best types of danger to present the viewer as it allows their imagination to take over and come up with all sorts of horrible situations the young protagonist might face.
The audio work on Complicated is expertly handled by the skilled production team at gritHouse productions. The actress’s (Annaleah Ferguson) voice is clear and crisp as she delivers her narration and the microphone only picks up her voice and without the tin can or echos you might find in a sound box. In one instants of the character actually speaking in the film world itself it is clear and easily understood despite being regulated to the background behind the voice overs. The music is theme appropriate and adds to the feeling of tension and sadness as the young girl speaks to the viewer.
When you take in to consideration the massive deck that was stacked against them in making this film it is hard to fathom just how good this film turned out. I have said it in the past and I’ll say it again Terrell Lamont is perhaps the best Independent film director I have seen in all my time reviewing films. His passion and dedication shows through in all of his projects and Complicated is no exception. At just over three minutes long this film is a must seen for anyone who enjoys subtle and thoughtful films that manages to do more in their short run time than many big budget Hollywood films.
Justin’s Notes – So, once again, Terrell Lamont shows off his masterful command of story and camera with another powerful film. I’m in complete agreement with Kevin that Terrell is one of the best independent filmmakers in the business and his vision is nothing short of legendary. You need to check this out and show your love of this awesome storyteller.