Written and Directed by: Alejandro Figarella Osorio
STARRING: Victor Hernandez, Raphael Tobias, Edward Davis, Yue Wang
Hidden Memory is a succinct 5 minute thriller from Writer/Director Alejandro Figarella Osorio, which follows a detective (Victor Hernandez) who is searching for the answers to a series of unsolved murders going back 10 years. When a witness to the most recent crime (Raphael Tobias) is discovered, the detective teams up with a psychologist (Edward Davis) and employs hypnotherapy to extract the witness’s forgotten memories of the incident.
The film has stylish cinematography and lighting which suits the dark tone, and brings to mind the high-contrast style of film noir. Imaginative camera angles enhance the interrogation scene, which forms the main part of the narrative; and overall the production values are solid for a no-budget piece. That said, there are a couple of moments when the sound peaks as characters are shouting, which suggests a slight lack of experience in the sound department.
Raphael Tobias, who plays the witness, John, gives a particularly compelling performance, transitioning from catatonic to traumatised with skill and believably; and his character is by far the most interesting of the three. In terms of the writing, unfortunately the character of the detective felt underdeveloped; the opening narration suggests he is the protagonist, yet very little information is conveyed about him. Almost nothing is revealed about his past involvement with the case, his personal life, his history or his desires beyond wanting to solve the murders. As a result, the film felt more plot-based than character-focused, which was acceptable given the short length, but nevertheless was a little disappointing.
There is potential in this idea, which, with further character and story development, could be a strong piece. It is relatively unusual for a short film to feel too short – more frequently newer filmmakers don’t cut stringently enough – but Hidden Memory did feel somewhat lacking in its depiction of the detective and psychologist. In addition, there were some details of the case mentioned – cult symbols, a black cloak left at the crime scene – that weren’t really explained or explored satisfactorily.
Overall, this was a valiant effort on a low budget that would benefit from further development.
Watch the Trailer:
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