“Cici’s Sonata” is a gripping short film that expertly combines elements of psychological thriller and horror, providing a thrilling and intense experience from start to finish.
The film tells the story of a young pianist who experiences psychosis as her childhood trauma resurfaces on the night of a high-pressure audition.
From the very beginning, “Cici’s Sonata” captivates with its cinematography and editing. The film’s visuals convey a sense of impending dread, creating a thrilling atmosphere. The high-pressure audition setting in an eerie, dimly lit theatre amplifies the suspense, setting the stage for an intense and gripping tale.
The film’s main strength lies in its ability to depict the harrowing experience of psychosis. As the young pianist, Cici (played by Shayna Safirstein), grapples with her resurfacing childhood trauma, the audience is taken on a disorienting journey through her fractured mind.
The use of delusions and hallucinations effectively portrays her descent into madness, and the audience is brought along for the chaotic ride. The film employs a clever technique by introducing multiple voices, some audible, some incoherent whispers, effectively conveying the overwhelming and confusing nature of Cici‘s psychosis. It’s an experience that’s not just observed but lived through, thanks to the film’s immersive storytelling.
Another commendable thing is “Cici’s Sonata’s” exploration of the profound effects of childhood traumas that have been repressed rather than confronted. The film unearths the dark and haunting consequences of unresolved pain, and it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of addressing one’s past. It delves into the complexities of the human psyche in a concise yet thought-provoking manner.
You can’t help but feel that “Cici’s Sonata” has the potential for expansion into a feature-length film. The short leaves you yearning for more depth and detail in its themes. It can be seen that new filmmaker Brandon T. Bailey has a knack for storytelling and an eye for visual storytelling. With a feature-length format, he could further explore the intricacies of Cici‘s character, her past, and the mysteries of her psyche.
At just 14 minutes long, the film leaves a lasting impact, making the most of its runtime to deliver a compelling narrative and stunning visual storytelling.
I will score this short film 3.5/5 stars. It is certainly worthy of a feature-length, and hopefully, it gets made.