Fine [2015 Mark Fraser and Aidan O’Mara film] Review

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 9.38.00 AM
AKA: N/A
Genre: Psychological Drama/Experimental
Year Released: 2015

Distributor: Unlicensed
Origin: Scotland
Running Time: 6 minutes

Rating/Recommended Audience: 17+
Related Films/Series: N/A
For Fans Of: Meth Head, The Beat My Heart Skipped, Serial Experiments Lain
Notes:
-This film is streaming on Vimeo.

Fun Facts:
-Fine was an entry into the Glasgow 28 Film Project contest. As the title implies, someone has to film and edit a movie in the span of two days.

-Co-director mark Fraser has also worked on Chibbed which was featured on BBC.


Iridium Eye Achievement unlocked! What achievement would that be, you ask? I have now covered the entirety of the UK on this blog. HOORAY! I’ve reviewed several English films and documentaries, covered Northern Ireland with Beyond the Ropes, Wales with the Meri Wells documentary, and I have finally reviewed a Scottish film. This feels great knowing that I made that geographical goal when it comes to a certain part of Europe. All it took was checking out a certain short film from the Glasgow-based studio Walk>Talk.

Let’s see how this short from the Glasgow 48 Hour Film Project goes.



Fine is about some people who are bored with life, so people around the area are taking this surreal drug by sniffing it. Unlike other illegal materials that are snorted, the users’ eyes turn all white with the exception of their pupils. They congregate at an underground rave to dance their cares away, yet the effects certainly alter their recreational experiences.

That was certainly a trippy film and not just because of the obvious subject matter. I think it’s well-done how there was a cohesive project that was done in the span of two days. With the production quality and editing, I thought it would’ve taken much longer with all the care that was done for this film. The sound production worked well, too. Yes, there’s obvious EDM music which was all too appropriate, but the effects start to get subtle before becoming intense when the ravers are losing their minds over the drugs as the sound effects become screwy which symbolizes their mental states. There surprisingly wasn’t that much dialogue, but I didn’t think there needed to be. It shows a good example of “show, not tell” for a good portion of the short film and the actors say what they need to say to get the point across. The title drop in one of the earlier conversations was a great piece of writing when the first drug user asks the woman whom he shares his stash with how she feels. He asks her how she scales it from a one to ten, but she replies with “fine”. That was clever while also showing how disturbing the situation is.

Not everything is fine with Fine though. While the minimal dialogue was fitting for the concept of the film, it could’ve really used a few extra minutes. Not necessarily of the people dancing, but I want to see a clearer aftereffect with these ravers at the club. The imagery does get disturbing with people’s eyes changing or them clearly being stoned out of their minds. I certainly got the notion that the viewer isn’t supposed to be like the characters here, but it becomes too nebulous in it’s morality. One can argue that they are doing something harmless as dancing to EDM, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them were to OD if they did that in real life. I wished they would’ve tweaked the ending much better.

Fine was a nice looking film, but so many things were average though. The filmmakers certainly deserve credit for shot composition and production especially with how short of a time frame. The music certainly worked well and the little dialogue there was worked. However, I couldn’t get into the whole story or the presentation of rave culture and the rampant drug usage going on as the implications are too ambiguous for a film like this.

Please stay sober watching it though.


Adjustable Point System:

Add 1-2 points if you really like good production in your films.
Subtract 1-2 points if you want clearer morals in your films.

Pros:
-Very good cinematography
-Excellent sound design and sound manipulation
-Good dialogue that shows and not tells

Cons:
-Far too short of a run time
-Ending is disappointing
-Morality is very unclear when it comes to drug usage

Final Score: 5/10 points

Content Warning: Fine is best for older audiences. The plot revolves around drugs so much as people snort this mysterious substance that’s eerily similar to cocaine and people trip out for most of the film and walk like zombies. While there isn’t a ton of dialogue, it’s laced with some very harsh profanity.

-Curtis Monroe

All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws. Fine is property of Mark Fraser and Aidan O’Mara. The screenshot is from Vimeo and is property of Mark Fraser and Aidan O’Mara.

2 comments

  1. Ahhhhhhh, I can’t believe someone seen this film outside the screening in Glasgow. Me and Mark can do an interview if you’d like?

    Aidan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! I didn’t realize that. Looks like you got a viewer here in America. I also reviewed Chibbed in case you didn’t know that. Aidan, you’re the first person to ask me something like that for Iridium Eye. Feel free to contact me. You just gave me some ideas for something on this blog.

      Thank you!

      Like

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