Bronze Label

Jenna The Great  (2019)

8.0/10

The synopsis of this short film is the following: “A cocky student accidentally conjures young philosopher Aristotle into our present and seizes her chance to cheat through her exams”.

Jenna The Great is a just under forty minutes short film which manages to sweep you off your feet. The characters of Jenna (played by Charlotte Dunnico), and Aristotle (Felix Trench) are the total opposites of each other in the sense that Jenna comes from a working class family, and Aristotle is of course portrayed as an upper class young man who suddenly appears in the twenty-first century. It is this behavioral, and class conflict that causes the rising action of the plot, but they managed to keep it extremely funny and original. Some of the scenes were so hilarious and original that I could not believe that I was watching this on VIMEO stream ( Lift-Off Film Festivals 2020). Jenna The Great could easily have been shown on the BBC or another English broadcast network. 

Additionally, all the actors played very well, and Charlotte Dunnico, and Felix Trench managed to turn this short film into something really amazing and wonderful. It is mainly thanks to finding the balance of both extremes that both protagonists end up in the middle which they both so desperately need. The actors really show the personal growth of each character and this is what makes this short film so fresh and valuable.

The setting also really works well with the story. The school and Jenna’s social life really shows you a realistic social environment, and this pulls you even further into the story. Everything feels convincing, real, and sincere. This is very important for any film but maybe even more so for a film within the genre of “Magical Surrealism”. Even the CGI was done well, and this is something that a lot of big budget films still have issues with. Yes, the use of CGI was minor, but when it was used it looked good. Moreover, the element of the demotivating teacher created an extra layer to the film. It presents the classical ‘guide’ (teacher) as a villain who is the gatekeeper to success (graduation), and going to University. However, one minor point in my opinion is that certain shots could have been done differently, or rather more smoothly, but this is nothing major.  

I can only conclude that I hope that the big audience will see this short film one day. Before I started watching this film I never thought that it could be this great and magnificent but it turns out that it is much more than ‘just’ a good short film. It is truly funny, original in plot and dialogue, and emotionally rewarding. 

Director: Dan Tonkin. Writers: K.T. Parker, Dan Tonkin.

Cast:
Charlotte DunnicoJenna
Hattie GotobedKelly
Luisa GuerreiroSteph
Jamie Lee-HillMr.Winston
Bhasker PatelHeadmaster
Olivia StellingLauren
Felix TrenchAristotle
Gemma WilksHilda

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