'Alison' is a Canadian short film from Director David Lester and Writer/Actress Jessica Rose. It depicts the relationship of a couple over the course of just one night and the following morning. Yet from such a simple premise, it manages to convey a wealth of emotion and complexity during its slight thirteen minute running time.
The set up of the film is undoubtedly a recognisable one. The couple make their way home one evening and Alison (Rose) is more than a little worse for wear, meaning that Jason (Kristopher Turner) has to look after her, re-assure her and make sure she comes to no harm. From needing the toilet in the street, to throwing up violently, to feeling completely vulnerable, this could have just been a paper thin portrayal of a girl and her exacerbated partner. However, what is achieved is a thoroughly engaging look at a modern relationship with its frailties and complexities. Both Rose and Turner create believable and fully formed characters, transforming a mere snippet of life into a deeper and more complex story where issues are not so easily resolved. There is a lightness of touch employed throughout the film ensuring that events do not feel heavy handed. There is no grand standing or screaming matches, much is left unsaid and conveyed merely through actions and responses, allowing the audience to come to their own conclusions.
It is interesting that it is Alison who is the drunken partner, skewing those perceived stereotypical roles of the man being out of control and the woman having to pick up the pieces. In this way it cleverly provokes questions and emotions that leave you wondering how you would feel about these characters if the gender roles were reversed.
As the film draws to a close it doesn’t feel like it apportions blame to either side, which would perhaps have been the easier path for the story to take. By painting a realistic and more nuanced picture of a relationship, the film feels truthful in its depiction of life and what we knowingly or unknowingly do to one another. This is the seed from which compelling dramas are made.
Alison (2016, Canada) / Director: David Lester / Cast: Jessica Rose, Kristopher Turner
Watch the full film now on Vimeo
Alison on Facebook
David Lester @dave_lester
Jessica Rose @thejessrose
Kristopher Tumer @kristopherturn