J.S. Mayank’s newest short film EMIT is a fine piece of science fiction. Set in a world where time flows backwards, Mayank’s latest short is more than just whimsy. It takes a hard look at mortality, youth, and family dynamics. The concept of the film is simple enough, but it’s the details, and some fine acting that really help sell it through to the end.
EMIT begins in a hospital room with doctor’s and family gathered around a flatlining woman. Their faces somber, but somehow hopeful. This is a great, silent introduction to the world of EMIT. The film takes a few things from its contemporaries like THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and manage to make an even more powerful statement in a much shorter amount of time. There are superb performances throughout by veteran TV/movie actors like Jack Coleman (Burn Notice, Heroes), Sherri Parker Lee (Touch, The Black Donnellys), James Keane (7th Heaven, CRAZY HEART), and Mimi Cozzens (THE MASTER, Seinfeld) and relative newcomer Katelyn Hunter. Special note should be given to Katelyn’s performance, who probably had the toughest job of all, convincing the audience that a seven year old girl was actually the wizened matriarch of a family. She plays the role in a way that the audience completely buys that she’s at the end of her years, rather than the beginning.
There are a good number of digital effects in EMIT, some of them subtle like a holographic alarm clock, to some entire locations such as a busy hospital and airport terminal. Everything is carefully crafted and blended to create an entirely believable reality. It should be noted that a lot of modern science fiction relies on gimmicks, aliens, or dystopias to hard sell the audience that the world they’re depicting is different from ours, but EMIT forgoes all of that for a more hopeful and subtle look at their world. The cinematography, sound, and other technical aspects of the film are done wonderfully, with the only complaint being that at times the lighting in the hospital room scenes looked a little blown out.
EMIT is a tight, poignant piece that works perfectly in the amount of time given. Director J.S. Mayank (along with his fans and supporters, who used Kickstarter to raise over $23,000 to make this film happen), should be proud of this achievement. EMIT has all the earmarks of a modern classic and should definitely be sought out by audiences wherever it’s available.
In a world where time flows backwards, an old man eagerly awaits meeting his wife for the first time. His 7-year granddaughter contemplates her upcoming mortality.