A man (Skinny Cavallo) finds himself trying his best to navigate his life, and all the different places he could end up, as his relationship with his girlfriend is complicated by her pregnancy. Unsure how to handle the stress, and how to come up with the money to provide for a family, the man weighs all options, some better than others.
Or at least that’s how I interpreted the film. See, it’s completely free of dialogue and the narrative is told visually, leaving to your imagination what is connected where and how. A Little Push sets itself up as a short film, but it also shares the characteristics of a music video. In this case, the song by Skinny Cavallo is background music that enhances the visual narrative, starring Skinny Cavallo, forward.
So while it would be easy to dismiss this as a music video, it is flipped in execution, as you have a narrative to follow, that you can infer from the visuals whether you listen to the song or not. Therefore the music enhances the visuals, not the other way around. Thus, credit is due for telling a story well without needing to be too obvious or literal lyrically.
That said, my appreciation for the short film ends around the six minute mark, as the remaining almost three minutes is basically b-roll from the footage we just saw mixed with end credits. Maybe it’s meant to be entertaining, but in execution all it does is undercut all the success found in the actual short film content. Maybe if this is a feature, the credits are worth three minutes of b-roll, but for a short film, you’re essentially adding another third with unnecessary footage.
So, in the end, it’s successful when it is a short film, but it is undone by the choice to tack on so much excess to the end. The film isn’t an exceptional short film by any means, but it does, in that first six minutes, manage to tell a story with visuals that would work whether the music was with it or not, and that’s worth noting and appreciating. But I’m still floored by that choice of credits.
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