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The Independent Critic

Bennett Kirschner, Timothy Cox, Max Carpenter, Chelsea Marino
Daniel Witkin
12 Mins.


 "Trouble" an Effective Student Short Film  
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It's always a thrill to receive a short film from an up-and-coming film student. Such is the case with writer/director Daniel Witkin's 12-minute short film Trouble, his Wesleyan University Senior Thesis film. The film tells the story of Isaac (Bennett Kirschner), a young man living in a reform school for boys who struggles with maintaining his character while facing bullies and a stern headmaster. 

Trouble is a well made short film revealing tremendous promise for Witkin, who takes a fairly basic theme and brings it to life with some boldness and inspiration that would indicate he could be a filmmaker who will have artistic integrity. The character of Isaac is always on the fence in terms of what the audience is going to expect - Is he going to transcend his inevitable labels or might he turn the tables on those who torment him? 

You'll have to watch the film yourself to find out. 

Kirschner gives a solid performance as Isaac, almost bringing to mind the feisty intelligence of a Jesse Eisenberg in portraying a young man with quite the spark. Timothy Cox is solid as the stern headmaster, while Chelsea Marino adds a natural touch as the nurse. Max Carpenter is appropriately smarmy as Greg, the leader of the school's bullying gang. 

Production quality is quite solid given the film is an ultra-indie, with D.P. Daniel Nass lensing the film with a sort of institutional fade and Sofia Warren's production design following suit to near perfection. 

With his Senior These film behind him, it'll be interesting to see where Witkin goes from here and The Independent Critic looks forward to checking out his next project. 

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic