Film Critique #5: Miracle Fish

Miracle Fish is the story of a boy who does not get as much for his birthday as he or his friends would like. When opening his presents at school, he finds a miracle fish fortune teller in his lunch box. When his friends make fun of his for this “bad” present, the boy runs away to the nurse’s office and hopes that everyone will go away. When he wakes up, his dream comes true and he is free to roam the school until the story turns very dark.

The cinematography in this short film is really well done. The lighting is carefully thought out and the saturation makes the mood seem very dreary and sad from the beginning of the film. The best use of lighting is during the scene where the boy is scootering down the hallway, it makes the scene seem creepy, lonely, and expansive all at the same time. There were very few lines spoken in the 17 minute film, but the filmmakers were able to convey a lot of emotion through the cinematography and facial expressions of the characters.

While I did enjoy the lighting of some shots, there are some shots in which I would have liked to see some more dynamic lighting. There were a couple of scenes, especially indoors, where the lighting felt very flat and this made me less interested in the characters. Overall, however, the filmmakers did a fantastic job of connecting the characters (mostly just the young boy) with the audience in a short period of time. At the conclusion of the film, I was surprised with how much sorrow I felt for the main character. This was directly due to the filmmakers building up a compassion for him over the course of the film.

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