The Atomic Dream Image

The Atomic Dream

By Chris Salce | November 1, 2022

In the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, a woman is convinced that America’s days are numbered as nuclear war is on the brink. Writer-director Angad Aulakh gives us a look at a different outcome had the Cold War happened in The Atomic Dream.

Right away, the film opens with archival footage of news stories surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Automatically I’m intrigued because personally, I have always been interested in the conspiracies surrounding that president’s death. Then we are introduced to the two characters in the story, Frank (Guy Kent) and his news-obsessed mother-in-law, Sophia (Marchand Storch). She has been doing nothing but watching the news and fears the worst. Frank warns Sophia that watching the news will do her more harm than good, but she believes that America will suffer at the hands of Cuba.

“Frank warns Sophia that watching the news will do her more harm than good…”

What I like about this short is that it feels like something out of The Twilight Zone. When “what if” scenarios such as this occur in cinema, anything can happen, and history and logic likely go right out the window. The story gives us a glimpse of what could have happened if the Cold War ended up happening, and not only that but happening in our own backyard. Something that adds an extra layer is that Sophia is an estranged family member who will not bother getting any closer to her family, thinking it is pointless because war is on its way.

Honestly, The Atomic Dream is not predictable in the slightest way. Considering what information Aulakh gives us throughout the short film, that is a tough act to pull off. I can see this as a part of a sci-fi anthology series, as it left me wanting more.

The Atomic Dream (2022)

Directed and Written: Angad Aulakh

Starring: Marchand Storch, Guy Ken, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Atomic Dream Image

"…It left me wanting more."

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