By midlandsmovies, Feb 24 2020 05:36PM
Midlands Review - See You Again
Directed by Jayne Slater
Written and Directed by East Midlands based filmmaker Jayne Slater ‘See You Again is a supernatural drama which depicts the strained relationship between a mother and daughter, due to the commitments and struggles of modern day working life.
The film opens with the mother, Rachel (Jenn Day), driving at night, seemingly distracted. The screen fades to black as oncoming headlights fill her side window. Back at home, Rachel wakes her sleeping daughter Elle (Isobel McNerney), apologetic, after missing the movie night Elle had been looking forward to. She insists they spend some quality time together, almost as if it’s the last time they will have a chance.
The dialogue and chemistry between these two characters is vital for the success of the film and fortunately it wholly pays off. Jenn Day specifically, conveys her emotion in such a subtle, controlled and natural way that it feels realistic. The only gripe I’d have with the casting is that for me, I felt Isobel McNerney seemed slightly too old to be colouring with crayons with her mother. Casting of a younger actor may have also added to the innocence of the character, gaining a more emotional reaction from the audience. However, that in no way discredits McNerney’s performance as she does a commendable job throughout .
The aesthetic of the film is very impressive and showed the feature film experience of Jayne Slater. However, I felt fixed rather than handheld camerawork in certain moments would have worked better in this genre of film as the shakiness at some points distracted me from the drama on screen. Also, some lighting inconsistencies, specifically in the kitchen, took me out of the immersion of what otherwise was a great story. Just to put this into context, when the mother and daughter are in the living room it was obviously night-time however as they moved into the kitchen the high key lighting made it seem as if it was the middle of the day.
In a Midlands Spotlight earlier this month, Director Jayne Slater said “Work-life balance is something a lot of people struggle with, especially in this generation, and so I wanted my film to have message that a lot of people could relate to”. The film is definitely successful in doing this, it is easy to see it resonating with a large audience because of its easily relatable themes. The confined setting of the family home gives it a lot more personable feel and focuses you purely on the relationship between the two leads.
Overall, ‘See You Again’ is an impressively shot, wonderfully performed short film exploring the emotional relationship between a parent and her child. I hope that it has a significant impact on parents watching and makes them think twice about what the most important things in life are. I look forward to seeing what Jayne Slater does next.