It’s interesting to see a documentary short film which is ambitious enough to not only tackle the story of a young cancer victim but also to try and encapsulate its subject within a matter of minutes. Given the grand scale of this undertaking I have to say that Blue Dream is in many ways a success. It’s cinematography sparkles and adds a surprising amount to the short’s depiction of perseverance and escapism, and the poetic dialogue is generally pretty effective even if it’s too overwrought at times. Unfortunately though the film does feel too sentimental and simplified in its treatment of cancer and celebrating life. And that flaw deals a heavy blow to an otherwise very promising short.
I guess it was almost inevitable that condensing a topic like a young woman fighting cancer into a few minutes would result in a slightly saccharine end result, but it’s a shame to see the short do that as it is so close to getting the balance right. If the film could have held back just a little on both the misty-eyed shots and the occasional lapses into overly ‘poetic’ voiceover then we could have something very strong on our hands here. The dialogue is a strange thing to discuss because if this was a work of pure fiction I would slam its pretentious and unnecessary prosaic nature, however because the film is a documentary it somehow acquits the film of most of the language used. It acquits it because there is some real power buried here in this short. It’s not tapped properly and so I can’t say that this is as powerful as it aims to be, but still there is both a moving story and some real talent on show within this micro documentary.
What is the film’s greatest strength? It’s cinematography, particularly the underwater photography.
Its greatest weakness? It’s overwrought nature.
Would I see it again? I’ve watched it a few times for this review and enjoyed each watch, but I wouldn’t seek it out again.
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