Uzo Oleh’s stylish short film Edicius is a gorgeous look at the trappings of money over all else. Aided by the marvellous Michael Socha, Oleh gives us a visual treat.
Jason (Michael Socha), an ambitious lawyer in his 30s, should be on top of the world, but his love for shortcuts and loopholes has finally come home to roost. He is about to lose everything; he has taken on a dangerous client in desperation. An organisation he doesn’t understand.
Edicius is the type of short film that leaves you wanting more with its intriguing premise and technical accomplishments. While it fills its 22-minute runtime nicely, it could easily stretch itself out longer. But the confidence of writer/director Oleh to keep it at its length allows the audience to thirst for that bit more.
Lead Michael Socha has to do an awful lot of heavy lifting in his role as Jason (for reasons that become clear as the short goes on). But he does so extremely well here at getting the emotion of his character across. Jason is a very conflicted man. Does he take the job for the money and support his growing family, or does he run to save himself and his family? With just his physicality, Socha can bring that across in the simplest of ways.
As Edicius moves forward and Jason is left stuck in a corner on his options, thanks to Socha (as well, of course, the writing and production), you feel yourself leaning that bit more forward than you would expect. Socha is an actor that can clearly carry a film, and with some hope, much like Oleh, we will be seeing more of him in prominent roles in the future; his talent deserves it.
Oleh and his cinematographer Tristan Chenais allow empty spaces to fill the screen wisely in this almost chamber piece. While darkness shrouds Socha in his blue-lit home, we are not distracted by the lack of objects around him. It is a simple and very effective technique in forcing the audience to pay attention to the characters, and with what is going on on-screen, you need to be paying attention. You could quite easily grab a still from any point in Edicius and be fascinated by its beauty. Now, this isn’t a Pedro Costa or Wes Anderson style of framing, but it is beautiful in its starkness that enchants and keeps you watching.
A visually enriching story that ticks all the right boxes and leaves you just satisfied enough but with a deep yearning for more. Edicius is full of emotion and looks utterly gorgeous. An excellent visual treat.
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