Placebo Delivers On  Cinematography And Storytelling

Placebo Film Details

DecayMag.com Andrew J.D. Robinson Placebo

Director: Andrew J.D. Robinson

Writer: Andrew J.D. Robinson

Release Date: 2017

Release Format: YouTube

MPAA Rating: N/A

Genre: Short

Running Time: 2min 29sec

Synopsis:

A surreal portrait about beauty, wanting to be perfect and its ugly side effects.

1. Overview:

Placebo Film Still

pla·ce·bo/pləˈsēbō
noun: placebo; plural noun: placebos

A pill, medicine, or procedure having no pharmacological effect prescribed merely for a patient’s psychological benefit who supposes it to be a medicine.

Andrew J.D. Robinson writes and directs Placebo, a 2-minute experimental short film about body dysmorphia. The short stars Aileigh Karson as the subject, Jennifer Trudrung as the narrator/interviewer and Maura Stephens as the ideal body and beauty.

We are Jennifer Trudrung- the interviewer, the doctor, the one that says you’re beautiful but in the end, always accepts that there’s a flaw that needs work done. The patient here is Aileigh Karson and we first see her wearing a hoody, in an eccentric mood, almost high, reaching out to us a picture of Maura Stephens, Ms. Carmichael with an autograph. We suppose Ms. Carmichael is a celebrity and Karson’s character is a fan and wants to be “just like her”. We get exposed to her operation and the stages she is to go through.

2. Pros:

Placebo Film Still

It’s always a pleasure to watch a short film below five (5) minutes that can capture something special and that crawls under your skin. The cinematography is superb. The director’s idea of transforming Placebo in two different worlds of tones is astonishing. Loved it in every way. In the beginning, everything is in low saturation, almost black and white, so it intensifies the scenes in every way possible.

Funny enough, when the doctor is putting lipstick on Karson’s character’s face to know where to go with the knife for the clinical operation, for a second, she looks like a clown, and that was the key for how the story unfolds and how outside beauty is superficial. When we see her as Ms. Carmichael, Andrew J.D. Robinson gave us some colors and boy, how beautiful they are. For a moment the character is happy about the after show of the operation but when she doubts herself and asks herself if she is beautiful if it’s enough, the colors come off and we’re back to black and white. That’s an amazing choice for storytelling and it tells that the director knows what he’s doing.

3. Cons:

I would have started the short directly with the black and white and finished with the colors and the title screen. That’s the only thing I would have preferred in the film. Other than that, good storytelling for such a short running time.

4. In Conclusion:

Placebo is shot in a minimalist setting, the workflow that can take only a day to shoot but we need nothing else in here. Everything gets delivered by its protagonists. Placebo portrays beauty and perfection as something we’re always trying to achieve but fails to be satisfied. It stays with you for a while.

Click for information on rating metric: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Cinematography
90 %
Performances
90 %
Originality / Redefining
80 %
Plot
70 %
Practical Effects
80 %
Scare Factor
5 %
Score
90 %
Special Effects
70 %
Viewing Experience
80 %
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Filmmaker and aspiring director. David was born in France and lived most of his life in Portugal. He has a Licence in Cinema, a professional degree in Directing Films and he took some workshops about Filmmaking and Dubbing Animation. He loves photography and Lomography, music and cinema. In 2007 he directed and starred in the low-budget short-film “Sweet Madness”, two years later he wrote, directed and composed for “the continuous noise” (“o ruido contínuo”). He wrote, produced & directed his first horror short-film “Girls Night”.

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