Cynthia: A stunning short film about the importance of love

We all want it. Someone to hold, to love and to be with for the rest of our lives. Not everyone finds it as easy to come across as others, especially not when your love for a person isn’t mutual. Sadly, that’s what happened to Cynthia, her unanswered love results in a tragic event told by writer/director Jack Hickey (“Penny Dreadful”, “Mary Shelley”) in an important, emotional and touching short film.

It seems that a nerve-wrecking evening awaits Cynthia (Clare Dunne). With a gift in her hand, she’s trying to get her emotions under control. However, the nerves are taken over by joy and happiness once her friend Clementine (Valerie O’Connor) opens the door, the two women are or have been more than friends. Maybe not, as Clementine and her husband Elliot (Moe Dunford) are expecting a baby. The friends have organized a small dinner and once everyone is present, a lovely evening can start. But there is a dark and tense vibe hanging in the air as we learn of Cynthia’s past, we discover that her feelings for Clementine have caused some friction between the friends and that sadly led to a heart-breaking happening.

An incredibly important and gripping short film Cynthia impresses as Jack Hickey’s directorial debut, most prominently because of the topic’s this short addresses. One of them being an LGBTQ+ relationship, which we don’t see enough of in film, it’s always great to see more diversity and representation on screen. Another key topic is the impact mental health has on the person (Cynthia) and her surroundings. Without saying too much about the plot, the terrible event has something to do with mental health.  We must see this more often in film as some of us are likely to experience the same dark times as Cynthia.

The second reason why you should watch this movie is the poignant acting performances from the overall cast. Dunne (“Spider-Man: Far from Home”, “Monged”) is wonderful, captivating and emotional as Cynthia who’s struggling with both her past and present feelings. The confession scene at the end of the film is without a doubt the most gripping moment of the short. Dunne’s interactions with O’Connor are touching and meaningful, not only due to Dunne’s heartfelt performance but the fascinating and authentic acting of the duo. Both women bring the importance of their friendship and topics to the screen in a beautiful way. They’re being backed up by a fabulous supporting cast, Dunford (“Dublin Murders”, “Dark Lies the Island”) as Elliot, the loving funny and caring husband with a solid performance. Peter Campion (“Sing Street”, “Brooklyn”) brings both a humorous and hurtful character with a genuine performance as one of the friends. The last character in this short is Mel, who is wonderfully played by Caoimhe O’Malley (“Dublin Murders”, “Reign”) and puts on an emotional captivating role.

The sense of realism created through the cinematography, setting and editing perfectly compliments the tone of the short. Cinematographer Philip Blake (“Brute”, “Break Us”) works with bright and open shots, with editing byJulian Ulrichs (“Float Like a Butterfly”, “Sanctuary”). There are no complicated transitions between scenes or special effects which gives this movie a very natural look.

“Cynthia” was already screened at the Galway Film Fleadh and we hope that more film festivals and cinemas will pick up this film. Not only for its importance but also for its remarkable performances and excellent and pure look.



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