Establishing shots in a quick cut montage immediately creates a sense of anticipation in Nox.
We know that this story is about two professional burglars being tasked to attack a Senator’s home. How this will pan out? We aren’t sure, but despite starting out as a narrative we’ve probably seen before, Nox develops down interesting and confusing paths, making us question what’s real and what isn’t.
The mise en scene and setting in Nox lets viewers know that these people know what they’re doing. They have the silencer on the gun, are wearing leather gloves etc. As the short film went on though, I started to question their skill as they opened the creaky gate, rushed down the gravel footpath, whispered loudly and made noise as they moved furniture. My questioning was soon put aside though as it was made clear that these people think that no one else is there or they just don’t care.
On a side note, it was fun to see a call-back to the previous short film Vesper and have characters intertwining casually or being mentioned of.
The man in Nox has the attitude of wanting to get the job done. The woman is a bit more of a wildcard, seen when she takes a target out and is seemingly quite satisfied by it. I wish we had more time to explore this character development, relationship and circumstances behind why these characters are doing what they’re doing. Though of course I can’t expect the Director to dwell off the linear path too much as it’s only a 12-13 minutes short film.
Things start to immediately change when the two actors that play the man and woman are now playing the senator and his assistant arriving back to the house. Originally, I thought it could be a clever way to incorporate actors in multiple roles, but I soon realized that there was much more to this short film than meets the eye.
Who is altering and manipulating our perspective of the story and / or timeline? What is real and what isn’t? Like Vesper, viewers are left with a bunch of questions but that’s something that makes Nox special.
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