PIFF 2022: Pink Opaque – Review

Release Date – Available now, Cert – 15, Run-time – 1 hour 30 minutes, Director – Derrick Perry

A struggling Los Angeles film student (Elijah Boothe) attempts to put together his final project while charting a growing romantic relationship and connecting with his career-fading uncle (Chaim Dunbar).

There’s much of within co-writer (alongside Dave Ragsdale) and director Derrick Perry’s Pink Opaque which is concerned with its characters trying to prove themselves in some form or another. Central figure Travis (Elijah Boothe) is a struggling film student, attempting to put together his final film to little positive response from his professor, who picks apart many of the details which he is presented with. There’s a risk that Travis’ project won’t even be screened as part of the upcoming college showcase. Yet, despite the odds, he’s determined to not join “the rest of the people with a meaningless degree to give meaningless answers to meaningless questions”. He needs to find inspiration for his short, to give it an identity, and alongside that he needs money – turning to his somewhat distant uncle, Robin (Chaim Dunbar) for financial help.

Robin too is looking for inspiration to keep himself relevant as a television producer, his career having begun to fade as he ages and moves away from what’s currently trending. He hopes that his nephew will somehow be able to have an idea which can launch him back to success. Yet, his nephew is juggling more than just his short and financial worries as his relationship with girlfriend Kristen (Ruby Park) grows, despite the strong objections of her older brother (Daniel C.). Much like Travis the film is trying to balance a number of different elements and aspects in such a short amount of time. It results in a feeling that what we’re seeing is a selection of patches of ideas and moments before moving on to the next point or character, instead of a properly overarching narrative.

With so much going on for each of the different characters, and so much of it kept separate up until the final stages – when even then things don’t quite gel together – it’s difficult to connect with the film or anyone in it with so much jumping going on. It simply leads to a distance being created between the viewer and the film as there’s no real time for a hook to be formed with each element and figure. The personal dramas don’t have the strength or development to properly connect with you and bring you in meaning that you simply sit watching a slight jumble of bits and ideas, changing perspectives and moments which never quite have enough to grab you or simply bring you in to the piece as a whole.

As elements do begin to come together the dramatic impact simply isn’t there, particularly in the attempted escalations of the final 20 minutes. There’s been little to draw you in up until this point, yet it feels that even the mesh of everything having finally come together still has little effect overall. You simply remain watching what happens with little to react to or engage with due to the overstuffed and jumpy nature of everything that has come beforehand. Perhaps if it were dealing with less perspectives then there may be a feeling of more narrative and better flow to the piece as a whole.

By juggling the different ideas and perspectives characters in such a short amount of time Pink Opaque ends up feeling like more a selection of moments than a flowing structure, leading to a feeling of distance between the viewer.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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