Obsolescence (2010) – By Josh Samford

Jakob Bilinski is a filmmaker that I am growing quite familiar with. This film in particular would be my fourth from the director, and while I do not want to give away a great deal during my opening paragraph, I have to say that it may be his best. He is a filmmaker that has presented many faces over the years and with those new faces he has presented a tremendous amount of growth. Although Obsolescence is simply a short film, it shows the filmmaker getting so much of his craft right! A short filled to the brim with ideas, narrative toys, fleshed out characters and lavish visuals, Obsolescence shows a massive amount of promise. It legitimately holds promise as a future feature-length project in my mind, and this is for several reasons. For one, it is a short film with a very intelligent structure beneath it. High concept projects such as this hold a great deal of marketability and Bilinski does a good job in presenting his story in a fashion that seems both intelligent and exciting. It seems like a project that is similar to many Hollywood science fiction films, but Bilinski also shows his love for genre cinema throughout as he pads the short with rough edges that could only be found in some of the darker facets of our film world. Yet, as I mentioned, this is a high-concept short that begs for an engaging full length production in my opinion. To cut things short, Bilinski has left me very impressed yet again.

Nick (Scott Ganyo) is a man suffering from the loss of his loving wife. During our film’s short running time, we do not discover the exact nature of her death but simply follow Nick’s search for those responsible for her passing. Nick tracks down a young woman who may very well know what happened, and he begins to lose his humanity as he tortures her into finally revealing the man responsible. As Nick continues his quest for vengeance, he is plagued by visions of his beautiful wife and the time that they spent together. Will Nick fall apart due to his quest for revenge or will he somehow manage to find his wife’s killer and bring himself peace through justice?

Visually, Obsolescence is compelling from the very start. Bilinski has done his best to package together a visually driven short film that doesn’t feel like it was a fun weekend-project between friends that was shot on the cheap. Although the film is generally very gritty, everything about the project seems polished and perfected. From the amazing post-production visual FX and filters that are used, to the very talented cast, Bilinski gives his film a very professional veneer in all facets of the production. The level of acting here was certainly something that caught my eye. The film is crammed with small roles that pack intense performances. Ultimately I wasn’t a big fan of Scott Ganyo’s delivery during the start of the film, as he does seem to take things a bit over the top at times, but overall I think he evens out the product. The remaining cast are all exceptional in their roles and come across as sympathetic, charismatic and fill in for whatever the script calls for them.

It is a short, but there are certainly enough turns in this twisty little narrative to flesh out a feature length adaptation. You could argue that the revenge thriller has been done several times over, but there is a slight science-fiction-realist variation within Obsolescence and I would love to see where this goes. As a film, one can’t help but be slightly reminded of Memento, but there are bits of varying revenge films inside of this small short. I see Old Boy, The Horseman and maybe even some Death Wish in there as well. I highly recommend you check this one out if you have the chance to do so. You really can’t go wrong. You can read more about Obsolescence via the official website at http://www.cinephreakpictures.com.