Movie Review – Birdie (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – In some respects this is a very simple film, but it uses that premise to perfectly explore the building tension    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene


There are a lot of things films can do, they can excite, they can astound, they can terrify, and the can crush. However, one of the key things they can do is let you walk in another person’s shoes for a time, which can lead to some really powerful moments.

The story of Birdie is, well it is less of a story and more of a premise. A woman (Maeve Dermody) is on her way to see a new apartment so she takes the train. This is the framework, but this is where the tension is introduced because as she arrives at the Redfern station there are a couple of guys lurking around. You can feel that tension as her personal security lowers each moment they are around. How she tries to find people to be near so she is not alone, you feel every moment of this trial.

Birdie. Image Credit: Shelly Lauman.
Birdie shows just what you can do with a short film. Image Credit: Shelly Lauman.

This is a film where all of the production is based around one emotion tension. So for example, there is not a musical score, but the film lets the natural soundscape score each moment, where every bell and crash hits you. It was also good to hear that they got all the sounds right, locating it in its place and time. It also helps, because they have framed the story around a train journey, so you can heighten those moments of being trapped.  

What Birdie does, is show how in the space of minutes you can feel someone’s world fall away from them. This is powerful filmmaking and a showcase of just what you can do with a short film.                              

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Birdie?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Birdie
Directed by
– Shelly Lauman
Written by – Shelly Lauman
Cinematography by – Anna Howard
Edited by – Danielle Boesenberg      
Production/Distribution Companies – Fox Searchlight
– Maeve Dermody, Sam Parsonson, Joshua Brennan, Lynette Curran & Eden Falk   
Rating – Australia: around a PG

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