Midlands Review of OHCA
By midlandsmovies, Feb 11 2020 11:39AM
O.H.C.A (Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest)
Directed by Richard Steele
O.H.C.A is a new semi-autobiographical short film written and directed by Midlands filmmaker Richard Steele. The film focuses on Lucas (John Williams) and his journey tackling the psychological hurdles of the trauma and recovery of an out of hospital cardiac arrest.
As the film opens we see footage of a five-a-side football game, a hobby which Lucas refers to taking part in later in the story. He explains he was playing only a week before his cardiac arrest, implementing a theme that is constant throughout the narrative, the future isn’t promised.
Steele utilises the regular breaking of the fourth wall with Lucas’ narration. The film is structured in a way that sees Lucas recounting his experience in a point by point fashion when he is fully recovered. This takes away a lot of possible peril in the story but presents the audience with a reliable narrator throughout the narrative. It gives us a much better understanding of the emotions the character is feeling at each point in the film.
The inclusion of Lucas’ girlfriend, Pippa (Linda Brammer), offers another point of view of these events, giving insight into the mindset of a casualty that is not often talked about in stories of ordeals such as these. Lucas’ dependence on her provides the most touching parts of the film, especially when we see his first solo walk to the bus stop without Pippa there to rely on.
The handheld nature of the camerawork works in a personable way, reinforcing the unrehearsed, realistic feel of the film, also possibly signifying the instability of the character after his trauma.
The film centres around a touchy subject for many people, without pulling on the heart strings too much. If I was to put forward one critique it would be that the emotional side of the story could have been delved into deeper. It would have touched me in a more poignant way if the main character had been more emotive when explaining the way he felt in certain situations.
Overall, Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest is a gratifying, insightful and personable look into a road to recovery that a large number of people traverse. The fact that the director has created a semi-autobiographical film adds to the authenticity of the story, which I believe could be used by other people in similar situations to help them along their own journey.