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

TL;DR – A poignant look at what rock bottom feels like  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Review

Today we continue our dive into the 2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition by exploring a short film from one of Australia’s up and coming actors Hunter Page-Lochard. Here we look at what life is like when you hit rock bottom and that moment where you realise that you need to climb up.

Djali looks at the life of Johnny (Hunter Page-Lochard) who is an inspiring dancer and really good at it until he received an injury to his leg. However, this is just the first in many setbacks as we see him hiding in a dark room reminiscing about the past. Only for his brother Harry (Rhimi Johnson Page) to come and try and shake him out of his funk.

Hunter Page-Lochard in Djali. Image Credit: Djalihouse.
Hunter Page-Lochard explores the despair of hitting rick bottom. Image Credit: Djalihouse.

Finding yourself at rock bottom is something that I can completely sympathise with after the last couple of years, so this was a hard film to watch at times as I watched myself in Hunter’s performance. That pain and loss feels raw, it feels real, which makes the film that much more powerful. This is down to the writing and acting, but also good use of locations and music. If there was one thing that didn’t quite work as well as the rest, it was the editing, which felt like it just needed to be tightened up a bit more.

This is one of those films that shows the power of a short film, it has one idea that you can focus on and pours all of its love and attention into it. You feel that pain and loss, but also the hope from his family. With great character work and direction, this is one of the must-watch shorts.    

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 Djali?, 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 Djali
Directed by
– Hunter Page-Lochard
Written by – Hunter Page-Lochard
Music by – David Page
Cinematography by – Luke Whitmore
Edited by – Hunter Page-Lochard
Production/Distribution Companies – Djalihouse
Starring
– Hunter Page-Lochard, Rhimi Johnson Page & Deborah Mailman
Rating – Australia: around an M

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