In the first seconds of watching this eight minute short, I was immediately reminded of the Coen Brother’s style, with over-the-top characters that are almost caricatures of the people they’re meant to portray and borderline cheesy violence. Whether the writers intended this to be satire or an homage isn’t clear. While I loved movies like BURN AFTER READING, I think this particular style isn’t done any favors by packing it into such a short story.
Even though this is a subtitled film, there wasn’t enough dialogue to be distracted by having to read along. Expressions of anger and lust and fear are the same in every language (and expressed as they were in this film, easy to understand without knowing the literal translations). On the positive side, the dual timeline was edited well and easy to follow without too much thought. However, it didn’t quite add to the suspense, as was probably intended.
Despite the trip-ups noted above, there’s a lot to like about STORM OF THE CENTURY. The costumes are eye-catching and suited to the mood of the film and the stunts are well-choreographed with gore realistic enough to keep the audience engaged. I also really enjoyed watching the backseat passengers; in a short amount of time, they developed an easy chemistry that made the characters believable and interesting.
Overall, while the style felt cheapened by the film’s length and inability to nurture any kind of relationship between the audience and the characters the style requires, I appreciated the professionalism that went into the actual making of the film. If given the opportunity to make something feature length, I’d be willing to bet these filmmakers would come up with something great.