Written, directed and produced by talented filmmaker Alexandr Borecky, the short film that we are excited to review today, simply titled Origin, is a profound exploration of friendship.
The film follows Leo, our protagonist, who prepares to gather with his two childhood friends, Jerry and Andy. Leo is excited about the meeting, as he has reminisced a lot lately. However, he soon realizes that it's the idea of friendship he nurtured for so long rather than the people in front of him who have followed separate paths and grown substantially. Thus, the night is young, and mixed feelings overwhelm the young protagonist.
In almost eighteen minutes, Borecky uses various directing techniques and storytelling devices. The exposition doesn’t speak a word about the context, but the memory box is a visual item that establishes the subtext. After the first minute, the audience should discover that Origin aims to communicate unobtrusively, never aspiring to say aloud. Many up-and-coming filmmakers should learn about the first and second degree of dialogue from the film in question, given that the characters here express different of how they feel or think, or vice versa. Leo's case is strongest to provide this statement, and therefore, we should pay close attention to the dialogue and how it marries the information sent through visual grammar. Thus, the photograph of the three friends dives deeper into the protagonist's wounds – it exploits them before it tries to heal in the catharsis.
Besides the knowledge of film language and theory, the auteur understands the value of having a relatable cast ensemble. Alexandr Borecky creates the perfect chemistry with Lukas Labuda and Jiri Skrivanek on the screen; their mise-en-scene is choreographed excellently, and body language provides statements even in the medium shots.
Origin is an every-frame-a-painting film considering the camera and lighting, the production design, make-up and especially costumes. In addition, the sound works in cohesion with the picture, thus crafting what would turn out to be an unforgettable experience. Interestingly, the sound doesn't take a substantial role in the first and second acts. Instead, it's eccentrically present in the third, with the purpose to enhance Leo's inner state of well-being as opposed to the surrounding. During the loudest party, Leo's inner world is silent. He is finally at ease with life when he experiences the kind of epiphany that comes in the darkest of the night, just when the sun is about to rise.
The juxtaposition of elements inside the frame and the montage sequence in the catharsis that intends to give us a vague idea of time and space culminates with the photograph prop – the MacGuffin. On the back is written ‘Ira is playing’, which is Leo/Borecky’s farewell, his intimate ode to friendship at its purest form.
Having said that, one thing is inevitable. Origin is a film that we should watch a couple of times before deciding to outline it or even a first impression. The reason is that the story is complex, genuine and thought-provoking. We try to find everything in film as the most sophisticated form of art. Congratulations to Borecky and the whole crew of artists and intellectuals who helped bring this story to life.