The only time I watch short films is when they appear before a Disney cartoon. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s just that there are so many of them, and the quality of most are questionable at best. With that being said, I have seen a few amazing three-minutes-or-less shorts that deliver in spades. I had no idea what to expect heading into Christopher Di Nunzio’s Under the Dark Wing short film.
Under the Dark Wing tells the story of a crook named Johnny Boy, who goes on a job and meets a mysterious girl with a few secrets. What transpires during the next fifteen minutes changes both he and his boss’ worlds.
The short film quickly grabs the viewer at the start. It’s filmed in black and white, and thanks to Nolan Yee’s cinematography, it’s easy to be instantly drawn into this world. Yee’s use of shadow is fantastic, and the locations chosen are great as well.
Writer and director Christopher Di Nunzio delivers an interesting script that keeps the viewer surprised, but due to its limited time, it fails to completely form its story. The characters lack the depth required to make the audience care about them. What really hurts the film is the below average acting. I hate to say it, but the young woman playing the mysterious girl (Jessy Row) delivers each line as if she’s reading it off the page, which makes it feel like she has zero interest in the project. As soon as she hits the screen, my interest in the plight of the guys is lost, which is a shame. Otherwise, Under the Dark Wing is intriguing, and the style reminds of the work of David Lynch. I’ll be interested to see what else Di Nunzio has in store for us in the future.
Cinefessions was provided a digital copy of Under the Dark Wing for review from the director.