Bokeh(Geoffrey Ortswein, 2017): USA, Iceland

Reviewed by Nodoka Kobayashi. Viewed at Fiesta 5 Theater at Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2017.

Bokeh is a term that means blur. This film does not stand out as an entertaining one, but it will surely remain something heavy in our minds after watching.  In this film, the blurring effect is frequently used and it consists the beauty of the film.

This story takes place in Iceland, and one couple faces a strange situation. Riley and Jenai comes to Iceland for vacation. After Jenai sees intense light like an explosion through the window, they goes out to get breakfast because there is no staff in the hotel. The town is awkwardly quiet and it seems all people disappeared from the town.

This story is not all about the end of the world but the situation definitely affects on the two main characters that appear in the story.When I read the discription of this film like this, I thought it is a sci-fi film, and I expected to see why the all people are vanished from this planet. However, the conslusion was completely different from what I thought. This story is all about realtionship and aproaches the theme psychologically.

What we can see throughout the whole is beauty of the nature in Iceland, and the two main character explore in the nature to find someone else. The days seem to be passing fast because of the editing that cuts sequences into short shots even if it is a consecutive movement. This means creats rhythm into the seemigly endless exploration.

While most of the sequences are short cuts, one scene is shot longer and after that the couple finds something surprising. This use of long shot is very effective to give audience surprise because good movies always break the expectations and make audience excited. When I see it in the theater, some of audience members  got shocked by this scene and I felt it is genious.

Bokeh is a breathtaking film becaue of the beauty and psychologically well developed story.


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