Violet Novak (Shiri Appleby: UnReal, Code Black), is horrified when a complete stranger (Sean Bell: Bulletproof Monk) approaches her, revealing that he is an assassin who has been hired by her husband (Gary Wolf: Desperate Housewives, The Nice Guys) to kill her. The assassin offers her the “chance of a lifetime”: pay double the fee plus a dollar in order to make her husband his new target.

An Entanglement is a short indie film, directed and produced by Dylan Sanford, an actor/director with a history in both cinema and theatre. The film has been circulated within indie film festivals and has proved successful, receiving the award for Silver Laurel in the 2016 LA Neo Noir Festival and selected for awards by the Melbourne Indie Festival and the Hollyshorts Film Festival.

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The short is a crime drama with a dark tone and tense atmosphere aided by moody, low-key lighting and aesthetic cinematography of a professional quality. The Director of Photography, Jason Oldak, has previously worked on similar projects belonging to the crime drama genre. He is best known for his involvement in the camera and electrical department on successful TV crime drama series Veronica Mars (2014), drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Cake (2014) and thriller, The Invitation (2015). In addition to the cinematography, the music composed by Lucas Putnam really adds to the film’s atmosphere. The soundtrack is comprised of beautiful, soft piano tracks and for more suspenseful scenes; an orchestral score mixed with electronic music is employed.

Although the cinematography and score are effective in relation to the mood and tone, there are some concerns regarding the story. The film presents a very interesting premise with much potential, but unfortunately, with a running time of just around 15 minutes, there is not enough time to fully develop motive, plot and characters. The opening of the film launches the audience immediately into the heart of the story. The producer and director of the film, Dylan Sanford, explained in an interview: “When I first had the idea for the film, I thought it would be interesting to frame it so it ‘comes in late and leaves early,’ literally dropping the audience into a scenario, the
moment AFTER the first line, and forcing them to pay attention to figure out what was happening. To draw them in and leave them uncertain about the path.”

The opening works to peak the audience’s interest, only to be cut short. A twist in the plot is revealed in the final scene that does, in fact, arouse intrigue, but unfortunately this is never developed. As it currently stands, in its limited state, with little time to progress its narrative, the project comes across as weak. Like an engaging novel that is missing its final chapter, the premise for An Entanglement does provide interest but is never fully realised. A full-length version would allow for a more complete story with a final conclusion.

Susanne Hodder

Susanne Hodder

Susanne Hodder, better known as Sue is a film reviewer from North Wales with an academic background and a first class honors degree in film studies. Also a keen filmmaker, Sue has helped produce a number of short films as part of a creative team. She also undertakes independent projects, shooting and editing her own wildlife documentary shorts and photographs.
Susanne Hodder