Danni is an artistic, thoughtful, nuanced, and suspenseful short film that explores the toxicity, secrecy, and desperation caused by addictive and abusive relationships. On the surface, Danni (Jeana Reilly) seems to be going through a rough patch. She loses herself in idyllic vintage family videos projecting innocent and happy times. In reality, she struggles to make it through her troubling day-to-day life as a waitress at a small diner.
Intimate and specific images shift our focus to the little mundane details in the midst of emotional chaos. These enigmatic fragments illustrate Danni’s mysterious life. Volumes are spoken in the silences that linger between the guarded morsels of information she chooses to share with co-workers, customers, and suitors. A moody soundtrack expresses the thoughts and feelings she keeps hidden. Viewers can easily draw one conclusion: Danni is on edge.
“…explores the toxicity, secrecy, and desperation caused by addictive and abusive relationships.”
In a brief period of time, we see different versions of what Danni’s life could be. She feels the tenderness and security of a loving man. Later, her abuser forcefully attempts to mimic those gentle sentiments. He challenges her sobriety and tries to regain control over her. Will Danni stay sober or succumb to temptation?
Danni offers a lot of food for thought. The film will stay with viewers as they try to digest the intensity captured onscreen. Peter Jensen and Reilly carefully crafted a powerful short film that packs quite a punch. Despite the minimal amount of dialogue, this film says quite a bit about various forms of addiction and the extreme efforts it takes to maintain sobriety.
Danni (2016) Directed by Peter Jensen. Written by Jeana Reilly. Starring Jeana Reilly, John Moran, Don Draxler.
8 out of 10 stars