Director Kevin Slack’s third short film, The Drought, tells the story of an elderly umbrella salesman toughing it out during Brooklyn’s driest months. Shot on a RED camera, this twelve minute short looks fantastic. Crisp colors and purposeful lighting are picked up well and, overall, the film has an impressive aesthetic. As for the story, The Drought delivers a tight, cohesive plot which relies on visual dialogue rather than existential. Most of the film sits on the shoulders of Edmund Lyndeck, a character actor who made the film in his mid-80s.
Lyndeck’s performance as Jonas is top-notch. He’s captivating when he speaks and even more so when he doesn’t. As Jonas washes his hands or pulls himself out of bed, we see the minutia which has filled Jonas’ day-to-day life. It’s one of the most effective elements of the film. The viewer is given an insight into his character that would have been left on the cutting room floor in a lesser film.
Jonas is an optimist. He may have a harder time moving around (and an even harder time moving umbrellas) but nothing seems to deter him. Sure, he misses his wife, Janet (Reilly), but he sees her through internal apparitions and seems to know that he’ll see her again when it’s his time. But he’s in no hurry.
The Drought refuses to make old age appear depressing. The film ends on a sweet note that really sums up the project’s tone. Life has plenty of positive aspects and attributes as long as you’re open to them.
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.