Although I normally recommend against it for independent filmmakers, intense dramas can be done well without a budget if the cast and crew have a clear and concise vision for what they are hoping to achieve. It takes a nice balance of several counteracting narrative ingredients to fill out a story that can tug at the heartstrings, but most of all it requires very strong actors. This sort of cinema usually requires actors who have far more experience than the average, but occasionally you might find a project that does indeed work. What Things May Come is not a perfect example of the short form melodrama, but it does show what is possible when you compile enough talent in one picture.
Our short film begins in a dark bedroom, where we find Deborah and her husband having a conversation that defines their marriage. Deborah wants to talk to her husband and maybe broach the topic of their current obstacles, but her husband simply wants to sleep and ignore this situation. When the morning comes, he drops a massive secret on his wife. He no longer loves her, and since she has essentially refused their attempts at having children, he has had an affair with a woman who has now had his child. Deborah is devastated, and the relationship ends immediately. Afterwards, we skip forward and find Deborah moving on with her life. She seems happy enough to be alone for the time being, but soon she meets the much-younger Donnovan. Donnovan wishes to pursue a relationship with Deborah, but she is at first hesitant. However, eventually these two come together and Deborah is pressed with a very difficult objective: she must meet Donnovan’s protective father, who is closer to her age than Donnovan actually is.
As I alluded to earlier, the performances found in What Things May Come are actually quite solid. The main cast all do well in their roles, with Lisa B. Whittfield as Deborah standing out. She puts in a tremendous performance for a film of this length, and she manages to grasp the audience and their sympathies right from the start. There are moments here and there where things might seem a bit too exaggerated or too subtle, but generally most of the performers do their best to bring forth the intense drama that this situation calls for. That intensity comes in the form of some high drama, of which a great deal comes hurling at the audience within the first five or six minutes of the movie. What is impressive about this opening sequence is how quickly the filmmakers are able to tackle this sort of serious drama while also peering easily into our character’s lives. Although the short delves into melodrama from time to time, for the most part this short seems to remain quite grounded.
If a movie has a glaring weakness, it is probably the twist ending that comes in the final minutes. Although the twist itself makes perfect sense in the context of the story, it might be a bit distracting. It does cause the audience to re-evaluate many of the scenes that came before it, but it seems a little cheap in comparison to all of the heart wrenching drama that came before it. Oh well, c’est la vie. The project is an interesting one, regardless of this twist. The performances are very impressive and the dialogue is actually very crisp, so I would absolutely recommend it for a watch if the opportunity comes up. If you are interested in learning more about this short, you can visit the official Facebook page for any updates: http://www.facebook.com/whatthingsmaycome