A group of students are tasked with the responsibility to save their village, and must work together through a drought to ensure the safety of the residents of Solunsug.
“Solunsug” presents a solid idea in using kids to convey the innocence ruined by events out of their hands, as well as the role they must play to keep their community alive and strong. However, the concept becomes rather muddied in execution, showcasing a lot of amateur mistakes made by inexperienced film makers.
The most notable aspect of the production lies in the score. Unfortunately, it stands out because of the volume in which it is played. This choice seems to try to disguise the sharp changes in background noise. Since the film contains many noticeable cuts, within a single scene we will get moderate to heavy background noise, making for a very ugly soundscape. This is made additionally worse in multiple cuts where the already high volume level is cranked up for a few seconds only to be turned down again, which makes viewing the short film with headphones on inadvisable.
The cinematography throughout the production is rather grating, as the opening choice of colour pallet and somber music clash really horribly, making for a confused message until the children get further into their dialogue. As previously mentioned, the film contains lots of sharp cuts. This makes it obvious that each line took multiple takes. Additionally, the tone and delivery shifts greatly within these cuts, making the dialogue feel unnatural, even through a child’s voice.
It is hard to critique the child actors’ performances, although it is apparent that the children enjoyed being included in the film, and that it helped cement a deeper sense of community pride, resulting in a positive message, which I can see helping other students learn from to help prepare them for their roles within their community. Unfortunately, this does not really forgive any of the production’s shortcomings.
There is a lot of sincerity in the project, and I came across with an appreciation of the director’s message. However, the film really suffers on a technical level in almost every imaginable regard. Off the back realizing how to craft a strong uplifting message, hopefully director Iroet Mareni can take some time to further develop and understand the technical aspects of film making.