Written and directed by Daniel Tupinambá, the short film ‘Estro’ illustrates the story of a writer suffering from writer’s block as he sinks deeper and deeper into a fantasy of his own making. The film stars Marisa Orth, Joaquim Lopes and Rosi Campos.
The first thing one notices about ‘Estro’ is how visually stunning it is. Comparing the depressing reality of the protagonist through monochrome colours and his fantasy with rich, dense palettes, the film goes above and beyond in conveying its story as much through the visual medium as it does through the narrative medium. There is a brilliance at display here, one that is easy to miss for those amongst us who are easily distracted.
In addition, what works really well about ‘Estro’ is its emotional core. The protagonist, a writer trapped in a hell that may not be of his own choosing, decides to conjure up a story and falls in love with the lead character. Tupinambá has succeeded in conveying the pain of the protagonist as he struggles to maintain his grip on reality whilst forging ahead on an uncertain path. Like a mystery box that keeps on going, the film unfurls its story gradually as the viewers slowly realise the truth behind the facade.
The fantastic acting from the cast really drives home the emotional punch of Tupinambá’s script, which features both richly detailed characters and an emotionally resonant central narrative. Mind-bending stories are a little tricky to pull off, and writer-director Tupinambá ensures that he doesn't overdo it in the slightest. Tupinambá achieves this perfect balance, and it is this balance between fantasy and reality that makes the film work in the way it does; it pulls you in with its mystery and doesn't let go. In addition, a lack of exposition helps immensely as well as the audience is allowed to discover the story all on their own, with only their curiosity guiding them forward.
Sublime and out of this world, ‘Estro’ is a fantastic film through and through. The technical and narrative wizardry on display is marvellous, and Daniel Tupinambá has created a short that is highly impressive and masterfully emotional at the same time. Akin to finding a gem amongst the rubble, ‘Estro’ blew us away with its complex themes about love and time, its rich characters and its emotional resonance, and we can't wait to see what Daniel Tupinambá comes up with in his next gig.