Film Review: Charming (Dir: Tom Albanese, 2016)

Charming is a 16 minute long short film revolving around Prince Charming in his quest to find love and break a curse. This film was recommended to me by my friend Amy Elize at The Willow Web, and I’m really glad I watched it.

The film is a fun exploration of the fairytale genre from a different perspective. In fantasy worlds dominated by princesses, especially in the Disney canon, we hardly know  anything about the princes, so this is a refreshing take on the genre.

This short was made by independents, so I would imagine they didn’t have an extensive budget, but this did not work against the film. Set and scenery choices are simple, but beautifully evoke the feeling of a fairytale-esque world. The same is true with the costumes. Although some character’s are given grand costumes to refelct their character’s status, and some characters have more modern clothing, at no point is this distracting or makes the film look like it has a low budget. Both the set design and character design is expertly done, and the crew who worked on producing this film should be very proud of themselves.

I was also very impressed by the acting talent shown within the film. The aptly named Lucas Royalty was lovely to watch as Gus, a little boy who encourages Charming to tell his story.  There is a lot of comedic talent within this film, shown in characters such as Simon Barbaro who plays King Triton and Patricia Castelo Branco who plays the witch. Lastly, I was also really impressed by Tom Albanese, who plays Charming. I thought his portrayal of Charming was really well thought out, and his role as lead actor, writer and director makes it obvious that this film was a project of passion for him.

Honestly, my biggest let down with the film was that it wasn’t longer! I know it was originally envisioned as a feature length production, so the fact that it had to be made as a short is somewhat disappointing, as I feel a feature length version of this film could be really successful. I also wished we saw more of the witch, because she was hilarious!

In conclusion, I felt that Charming was a sweet, romantic, charming short film, that is definitely worth watching.  This inventive offering from Tom Albanese gives a different and fun perspective to the traditional fairytale, and I would definitely recommend it.

9/10

Charming can be watched here on the official website.

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