The Armoire (2009)

the armoire 2009 short film coverSome movies are filled with messages that both protagonists and viewers are expected to decode.  Decoding these messages to grasp their meanings can be challenging, and the results can vary. The plot of the 2009 short film The Armoire has a lot of hidden messages and enigmas and, while I can’t affirm that I fully understood its story, I felt deeply engaged with it.

The protagonists of The Armoire are two young boys – Aaron and Tony. They are classmates,  best friends and both are members of their school’s choir.

One day, Tony mysteriously disappears. While everyone is desperately trying to find the lost boy, Aaron slowly realizes that the key to the mystery is buried in his own mind. Worried about their troubled son, Aaron’s parents put him under hypnosis, and the story of Tony’s dissonance starts to unfold…

Some scenes from the film reminded me of Stephen King’s It  and the 2004 drama Secret Window starring Johhny Depp. The film’s soundtrack, a mixture of chilling sounds one can expect to hear in horror flicks, beautiful piano music, and a stunning treble performance by the two young protagonists, enhanced that impression. I was impressed with the film’s cinematography as well.  Skillfully edited scenes, reverse action shots,  full-frame shots of the young actors’ faces and creative lightning were combined with objects that have a symbolic meaning in the film (the armoire itself, for example) to create a unique atmosphere.

Aaron ( William Cuddy ) in The Armoire 2009

Aaron (William Cuddy) in The Armoire

Some things that are not immediately clear are revealed through conversations, but just when you think you’ve solved a riddle, another one is sure to appear. The film pays tribute to the Coming-of-Age period all go through when discovering one’s sexuality.  It’s a time of life that is almost always associated with confusion and distress.

William Cuddy did an excellent job portraying the troubled Aaron — who’s ego seemed to shrink itself into a protective shell — a sense further emphasized in the scenes in which he closes himself in the framed box of the armoire.

The film is directed by Jamie Travis and formed part of his Saddest Children in the World trilogy. It won the  Best Live-Action Short at the 2010 Nashville Film Festival and Best Short Film at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival. (source)

The Armoire is a surrealistic film —  it’s both mystery and drama — and while I found the story both challenging and intriguing at the same time, I would urge you to see it and draw your own conclusions.

The Armoire (2009)

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