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The Independent Critic

Isobel Wood, Daniel Davids
Kaine Levy
10 Mins.

 "Farewell Waltz" a Stylish, Beautiful Short Film 
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You'll fall in love with falling in love in writer/director Kaine Levy's engaging, immersive 10-minute short film Farewell Waltz, a beautifully rendered motion picture centered in pre-World War II England at a time when the nation has just declared war against Germany. 

Into this wartime tapestry we meet Charles (Daniel Davids, Meet the Adebanjos), an impoverished Jamaican young man, and Rose (Isobel Wood), a wealthy white girl whom Charles initially eyes rather dreamingly from a distance with feelings that spark what can merely be a fantasy. Alas, a surprising turn of events provides Charles with the opportunity to follow his heart yet he is unable to do so. What initially seems like a cold rejection is revealed to be a true act of love. 

Accompanied by a luxurious, masterful original score by Felipe Tellez and performed by the Budapest Art Orchestra, Farewell Waltz is both reminiscent of the golden age of cinema yet remarkably relevant in its messaging even today. Inspired by both his own experiences in an interracial relationship and the real life story of the first black officer in the British Army during World War I, Levy has crafted a story that comes vibrantly to life through the performances of the elegant, charismatic Daniel Davids and the enchanting Isobel Wood. Both perform with nary a word of dialogue, their physical performances bringing to life a story that is so universal it doesn't really need words. There's more to Charles than meets the eye and Davids brings magnificently to life both Charles's humble roots and his confident persona. 

Wood elicits romanticism with every movement and every facial expression, her entire being possessing a classic Hollywood romanticism that is sweeping and majestic. While she's a relative newcomer, Wood communicates enough her that casting directors ought to be knocking down her door. 

Natalja Safronova's lensing is a visual feast, capturing a retro-styled beauty that washes over you like waves of technicolor wonder. Production design by Becka Oxland-Isles is period appropriate and captivating. 

A wonderfully utilized 10 minutes of cinema, Farewell Waltz speaks volumes released into a world seemingly so divided these days and here in the U.S. as the Black Lives Matter movement sweeps across the country and racial justice lives at the forefront of our daily lives. Perhaps a reminder that we've still got so far to go, Farewell Waltz is also a tribute to the potential of the human spirit and the undeniable power of love. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic