Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

Pickup (Short)

Grade : A- Year : 2017 Director : Jeremiah Kipp Running Time : 15min Genre : ,
Movie review score

The score by Giovanni Spinelli sets the tone right away for Jeremiah Kipp’s “Pickup.” This is moody, atmospheric and painful music, as we see a woman, Megan (Mandy Evans), in bed, swiping through Tinder. As the man she’s just slept with comes back to bed, she gets changed quickly and leaves. She has another hookup to get to. And then another. And then, she needs to go pick up her son, Liam, from school. As he’s watching TV, she’s still going through Tinder, swiping through guys. Then, her husband, Ben (Jim True-Frost), comes home. She’s tired from a long day. The next day, she has another meetup, but Liam isn’t feeling well. She’s ignoring her husband’s calls. Then, she leaves her phone in the car when she’s being called to pick up Liam when he’s sick.

The screenplay by Jessica Blank is smart and simple, capable to telling this story with a minimal amount of dialogue. That leaves it in the hands of Kipp and the actors to give us all the information, and emotional lifting, the film needs to impart. To Kipp’s credit, the film is fantastic to look at as we witness Megan’s descent into her addiction that is having a clear effect on her family life. We don’t know why she does what she does- we just know that she needs to. As much as I love the way Kipp tells this story visually, and accentuates it with some truly dizzying music, I wonder if a less-pronounced visual style would have served the film better from an emotional standpoint. This is a hard movie to dig into emotionally because we are given a roadmap of how Megan feels right off the bat with the look and sound of the film. It’s a very good film that could be truly great, but it feels like the desire to make it as moody as possible gets in the way of the emotional connection we need to have with these characters, especially the one whose journey down we’re witnessing.

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