Film Review: Sozinho (short film) (2003)

SYNOPSIS:

A solitary man (Jose Salles) meets a beautiful woman (Mara Vanessa Prieto) in a CD store and later that night he decides to meet her at her house, not imagining the nightmare waiting for him.

REVIEW:

“Sozinho” is a 13 minutes short movie, directed by André ZP in 2003, which, with an small budget and minimalistic narrative, has achieved an amazingly high level of both storytelling and special effects. The movie was released in Brazil in the 3 Cortes compilation, a DVD that gathers three independent extreme gore shorts, that include also Fernando Rick’s “Dead Humans Collection” and Kapel Furman’s “6 shots, 60 ml”. Sozinho is by far the best of the bunch, and is one of the best examples of Brazilian extreme cinema.

The movie tells the story of a lonely middle age man (José Salles) who, tired of being in front of his TV, decides to take a chance with a mysterious girl (Mara Vanessa Prieto) he had met earlier that day, in a record store. He picks up a card she gave him, calls her and makes an appointment in her apartment. The scene where they first meet is a delight for any fan of podolatry (the sexual fetish for women feet), category in which is included this humble reviewer. By the sound of Hurtmold music, she masturbates while the man licks her beautiful little feet, in a fantastic scene. But the whole thing takes a dark (and I do mean dark!) twist, when the girl reveals herself a sadist psycho, with a really large knife under her bed, and we get an amazing dismemberment scene, that will stay in your mind long after the movie is over.

The greatest influence of the short movie is clearly Takashi Miike’s Audition, one of the director’s self declared favorite movies. Both the structure of the script (with the first half being dedicated to the romance, the violent twist and the melancholic ending) and the gritty gore scenes pay homage to the Japanese master, and even though the storytelling is much more simple, the short really lives up to the influence, by emulating the feeling of Miike’s masterpiece and doing it’s own thing in what concerns the plot.

The special effects, by Fernando Rick and Kapel Furman (who are, interestingly enough, the directors of the other short movies in the 3 Cortes DVD), are just perfect. The key moment of the movie is the dismemberment scene at the climax, and if it was done wrong, it could drag the whole project down. Thankfully, the prosthetics and the gallons of fake blood are put to good use, and the result is an one man carnage that gives a new meaning to the expression “love tears us apart”…

Unfortunately, the very last scene is very underwhelming, and gives the wrong feeling for us who have followed an perfectly well conducted movie. That’s not to say that the epilogue spoils “Sozinho”, or that it ruins this almost perfect little gem, but it was really uncalled for, and could be replaced with something more cynical. But, then again, one could argue that the director’s purpose wasn’t just to give us a bloodbath, but to reflect on themes such as solitude and distance between people. It might be too much for such a small movie, but “Sozinho” delivers in almost any level, and deserves to be watched, look you for gore or for a greatly told story.

Sozinho (short film) (2003)

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