Candid Cinema

Foreigner Short Film Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

Foreigner directed by Carlos Violadé Guerrero is beautifully shot and the story is truly shocking. It takes place in the summer off the coast of Spain. A young man from Britain named Mark (Josh Taylor) visits his friends and has dinner with them. The first half of this film feels so calm and serene, just a nice adventure in Spain during the summer months. At first I thought this was going to be a romantic story, just by the way certain glances were exchanged but this adventure did not go down that path.

The strength lies in the direction and how Guerrero moves his characters through scenes. The atmosphere that was created felt light and fun at the beginning. The location was beautiful, calm and scenic, like everything was right in the world. It felt like you were going on a vacation with these wonderful people and it took you out of reality for a little while. In the middle of the film, when they were drinking around the pool and Mark was going for a swim. One of the men, Amaro (Luka Peros) seemed to enjoy talking to him and this is when I thought it was going to be turned into a romance.

However, when the husband invited him for a little boat trip around the island, something felt off. The romantic story that I had originally planned in my head evaporated so quickly and my heart sunk. The ocean is a scary place. It’s vast, uncontrollable and seemingly bottomless. What happens in the second half of this film was completely unexpected and it had me glued to the screen. The way Guerrero captured Mark’s struggle in the middle of the ocean was incredible, especially the waves at night. The darkness of the sea combined with the strength of the water made for an anxiety-ridden watch.

Foreigner will make you question travelling to places with people you barely know. It will have you at the edge of your seat because of the story that unfolds in the middle of the ocean. This was such a thrilling short film and I wish I could watch it again for the first time. Everything was perfectly placed and nothing happened out of convenience. It was definitely a journey and Guerrero kept surprising his audience. So much happens in a short period of time and it still leaves you wanting more.

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