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quietearth [Celluloid 02.24.08] review short thriller

Year: 2008
Director: Martin Gauvreau
Writer: Martin Gauvreau
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 8 out of 10

Starting with a gritty European indie feeling I've come to love, Martin Gauvreau's Alicja Wonderland immediately implies that something sinister is on the way. A couple rents a house in the country and our main character, Patryk, hides an engagement ring when they arrive. Problem is, some kids steals it and runs off into the woods with Patryk in tow. This is where we get a taste for the sinister syntho techno music which is used as an overlay. Then we cut to Alicja (Agnieszka Pekala) reading this same story out of a book, slyly winking at the camera.

She appears in the forest, ready to meet dearest Patryk with what purpose? Playful and beautiful, she leads him off to her house where she eventually drugs and binds him. This is where the story becomes enthralling. I think it's the fascination of being in first person submission to a beautiful woman because we become Patryk while she plays her heads games. The short retains this momentum the rest of the film and it's intermixed with more confusing storyline. When it does finally end, she leaves you with a longing for her.

Alicja Wonderland is a twisted story filled with unintentional dark humor, and while I loved Agnieszka 2039, Martin's first short sans CGI only ups his game. It does share one thing with 2039 though, and that's the dream-like story with no definitive ending. This could easily make for a feature length script as the storyline implied something much larger, and the only real thing to complain about is a couple shots worth of camera work being too shaky, but on a budget of $2000, it was better then most features. Can I hide my fascination with my Polish friend? Nope, I'm expecting great things of him.

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wahoodoss (13 years ago) Reply

Where did you see this? It looks quite intriguing.


quietearth (13 years ago) Reply

Martin sent me a copy. It should start running the film festival circuit soon so I'm sure it'll come near you. Check on for fest listings soon.

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