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Bitter Taste (2021) Short Film Review

What appears as a regular evening socialising with friends, gradually descends into the revelation of secrets within one intimate relationship. These are the events that unfold in the upcoming LGBTQ+ short film Bitter Taste. Made by Solent University graduates, with Khloё Windsor directing and Tom Filipe as Director of Photography the film is a complex exploration of two individuals burdened by underlying truths. This is the story of a relationship between the central characters: Emily (Rosie Carson) & Mia (Kirsty Nunn) that boasts visually striking cinematography and profound thematical direction.

At the heart and soul of this short film are the fundamental nuances that encompass Emily and Mia’s relationship. Throughout the course of their conversation, both individuals disclose their own concealed beliefs about one another. Some stem from social and or cultural perceptions regarding their relationship whilst others display harsh honesty. This gripping conversation expressed through intense dialogue heightens the story by providing their conflict with additional emotional weight. It efficiently captures their crumbling love with brutal sincerity by further expressing volumes about the nature of social stigmatisation and perception concerning their own relationship. An amalgamation between both protagonists’ outlooks and societal observation creates a claustrophobic atmosphere that accentuates the drama.   

The sense of confinement is further translated via the terrific technical aspects exhibited during the course of this film. The particular approach to cinematography is an aspect that fully shines in this short. We experience the pivotal conversation through the intricate lens, highlighting close-ups of our main leads that amplify how they both disclose secrets relating to each other and the environment that starts to shatter with every truth. Two shots that perfectly encapsulate the atmosphere include one which depicts both characters in their dimly lit doorway with Mia only being seen, and one where only Emily is present after their conversation. Equally, these precise moments portray the gradual distancing and newly established boundaries separating that connection that once was.

Bitter Taste is a truly captivating short film that showcases far more than a relationship simply falling apart due to secrets. It communicates a story underlined by an important social commentary and eye for detail that resonates long after its initial running time. Short films such as Bitter Taste are critical in our current social climate for positive change purely based upon the realistic representation of an LGBTQ+ relationship which many can connect with. The filmmakers behind this project show tons of potential and hopefully, they create more exciting projects in the future. 

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