After Chris (Chase McGuire) and his girlfriend Lexi (Antonella Lentini) get in a fight in anticipation of attending separate colleges, Chris’ friends (Vaughn Wilkinson and Lawrence Kao) offer him a new designer drug to cheer him up. Chris indulges, going on a three stage trip with his friends, one that not only offers new perspectives, but also possibly a new life.
Seaton Lin‘s short film A12 renders an evening of drugged-out experimentation in exceptional fashion as it tries to let us in on the experience Chris and company are having. It’s a challenge to impart such experiences through cinema, and the film mostly succeeds, though ultimately you’re still just watching three guys trip.
Is that engaging enough for ten minutes? In this case, yeah, though it doesn’t make for much of a narrative and the eventual resolution of the film, while it isn’t confusing, feels like it was shortchanged. Almost like this would make for a good opening to a larger story about the experiences and consequences of A12 usage. That’s not this story, of course, and maybe there is no bigger tale to tell; perhaps it was just an idea the filmmakers had, and they rendered it in short film form, and that’s as far as it should go.
Which is valid. I don’t know that this experience leaves you wanting more so much as make you wonder if there should be more. It doesn’t feel rushed, but it feels like it ends right when the story is finally starting. I don’t think it quite provokes enough post-screening thought to be memorable, but it isn’t an unpleasant experience.
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