"It's Okay" Short Film Review - Clever, Symbolic, Dark

It's Okay Short Film still

 Synopsis:  This short film, It's Okay (running time is just under 15 minutes) is about a married couple going through their daily routines together over the course of a couple days.  

It's Okay Short Film still

 The wife, aka "her," is played by Jenna Fischer (The Office) and the husband, aka "him," is portrayed by Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom).  

It's Okay Short Film still

 The two appear to be fairly well off - middle-to upper middle class types. They spend the film going through common routines, i.e. making breakfast, cleaning, preparing for work, planning for social events, etc.

It's Okay Short Film still

 They also are shown privately spending time apart with their respective hobbies; she gardens and sculpts and paints animal face masks, while he designs model neighborhoods.

It's Okay Short Film still

They seem trapped, almost robotic, in their relationship. The wife in particular seems desperate for some change in her life. She attempts to spark greater intimacy with her husband twice, both leading to rejection. The husband, in contrast, is better at hiding his unhappiness, and doesn’t actively seem to desire change.

It's Okay Short Film still

 He is also shown to be fairly passive-aggressive towards his wife, asking her to do things for him (like make sausage instead of bacon) in a very backhanded manner. The film comes to a "climax" when the wife, while making breakfast, emotionally snaps by intentionally dropping an egg onto the kitchen floor.

It's Okay Short Film still

 The husband, apparently a controlling neat freak, finally seems to realize their troubles and demands to know why she intentionally made a mess. This leads to a powerful screaming match between the two, as for the first time the two are honest with each other about their suffocating relationship. The husband questions what the purpose of it all is and walks away. Afterward, the wife opens their parakeet’s cage door, possibly symbolizing her desire for freedom. The husband then asks if she even loved anything about him. She replies that she doesn’t know, but she’ll find out once he’s dead.

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The film explores the idiosyncrasies of marital relationships. These are two attractive, seemingly successful, people who should be happy, but have lost passion and variety in their relationship, and their lives in general. Their emotions have been replaced them with the mundane and repetition. Without any real happiness, they go through life mechanically while quietly hating each other and their lives.

It's Okay Short Film still

The director, Tamar Levine, explains the inspiration behind the storyline, "this film sprang from my situation: from being newly married after being with someone for almost a decade. I wanted to explore the habits and roles that we can fall into in marriage, and how these roles affect us. In any relationship, any trivial incident can loom so large. But at the end of the day, it’s a short life… at the end of the day, it’s all okay."

The acting and writing are fantastic; so much is said about who these people are and the dynamic of their relationship with surprisingly little dialogue. The two seem bored, even disdainful of each other; the acting gives a real feeling of just how little real love these two have for each other.  The film lacks a rising arc or finality but that is sort of the point.  It’s very clever.

It's Okay Short Film still

 Set Design: The main set, their home, is minimal. It seems to perfectly represent a stereotypical middle class home, and yet, there are dark elements, such as the animal face masks on the wall, and the furniture all sitting at perfect 90 degree angles, that shows the mechanical and unhappy nature of these two. Overall, the set perfectly represents its occupants: robotic, mundane, and paradoxically unsettling and dark. 

Cinematography: There are many interesting shots that emphasis ordinary objects in unusual ways.  They help emphasis the themes and dark undertones.  

It's Okay Short Film still

Sound Design: The sound track is subtle and minimal but is used well to help underline the mechanical nature and growing tension between these two spouses.

For more information, visit the film's Official Website.  

 

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