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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘The Visitors’ brutal, honest”

    Mice are such a pain. They eat your favorite cereal, relieve themselves in your shoes and leave you with the fear of putting your foot down, waiting anxiously for that brush of fur to fly past your toes.

    Such is the case of Nisa and Daniel. “”The Visitors”” is a six-minute dramatic short that places you directly into the lives of this young couple who originally only seem to have a problem with their mice infestation and dirty apartment. Unfortunately, their seemingly simple relationship is thrown off-kilter when Nisa decides to hide her relationship with Daniel from an upcoming visit from her traditional Asian parents.

    Nisa, played by Visra Vichit-Vadakan, is clearly in love with Daniel, played by Sebastian Beacon, who looks like your average young indie man. In the few minutes of pleasant interaction to the pictures on the fridge, their life together seems like a happy one. Her prioritizing clearly jeopardizes that calm.

    There’s a particularly beautiful scene that effortlessly captures the tension of her choices. Pacing around the kitchen, Nisa stresses over what to do with a mouse she caught under the stove. The potency of the scenes stems from the silence and the projection of inner conflict onto the exterior environment. Will she be passive, or will she kill the creature that is as trapped as her?

    While Vadakan’s performance might seem a little too unenthusiastic when juxtaposed against Beacon’s rather over-the-top exit, it actually makes the conclusion all the more powerful. While dialogue might not be her strong suit, her emotions are instead expressed through her desperate attempts to pull a mouse from a sticky pad.

    The camera often zooms right into the actors’ faces. Other times, there are creative angles, such as reflections through bathroom mirrors that create a voyeuristic feel. The closeness creates a sense of real intimacy with each character’s plight. It’s not a Hollywood widescreen. It’s a brutally honest short that forces you to focus exactly where director, writer and producer Samina Akbari wants you to: Directly at a snapshot of a young woman growing up and making her own decisions.

    “”The Visitors”” is Akbari’s second short and first submission into any festival. It is also an official selection for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

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