By Mark Bell | April 29, 2012

Magic Kisa is a morbidly dark comedy about identical twins whose predilection for unsavory business spells their doom. When Vic gets out of jail, he visits his twin brother Gino’s bar. Gino is less than impressed with his twin’s appearance, but strangely offers Vic the opportunity to borrow his life for two weeks, allowing him to go home to Gino’s wife and son.

Vic takes him up on the offer, but then events turn tragic and Gino winds up in a hospital bed. Things get worse, as Gino forgot to inform Vic about another set of creepy, violent identical twins who have come calling to collect a large sum of many Gino owed them. And, since everyone thinks Vic is Gino, Vic is the one suddenly on the hook.

I consider this a dark comedy for how absurd the scenario gets, and how dark events become, though it could easily find its way into the moody crime thriller genre as well. Beyond the obvious mystery of events, the undercurrent of honor not just among thieves, but brothers, resonates. How much of a coincidence is it that Gino is into some dubious dealings that just so happen to come to a head right after Vic gets out of prison? Gino was the one who suggested the life swap…

Special consideration to the film goes to the sets of twins… who are played by one person in each instance, and seamlessly integrated onscreen together as if they’re two separate people. The effect is so smooth, despite thinking that at least one set was just one guy playing two roles, I didn’t imagine BOTH sets were utilizing the same trick. Christophe Laubion is wonderful as Vic and Gino, and Dominique Bettenfeld is exceptionally off-putting and frightening as the Gravedigger twins.

I don’t necessarily think the word “fun” is the one to use when talking about this short film, but I truly did enjoy it all around. The pacing is perfect for the tale it is telling, and when violence occurs it is immediate and matter-of-fact; it’s a part of a dubious lifestyle, and it isn’t fetishized in the least.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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