The Message in the Bottle

Synopsis

David is an alcoholic in denial of his addiction. After losing his long -time partner over a heated argument, David goes through a series of dreams where he is being chased by a mysterious character. It is during these dreams where he learns how to take back his power and gain control of his life, and move forward with much more clarity of himself and the world around him.

Review

3/5
A symbolic psychological thriller about alcoholism.
Written & Directed by Kea M. Modiga, ‘The Message in the Bottle’ follows our protagonist David, an alcoholic in denial, who is forced to face his addiction after a relationship break-up. Following a frantic binge session at home, David (Taki Muthige) wakes to mysterious occurrences in his mirror – a frighteningly flickering reflection. Psychological torture continues when he is visited by The Ghost (Sive Twala) – an aggressive being that robs David of life.

This 25-minute psychological thriller takes place entirely in David’s apartment. One-location-films can be an obstacle to maintain viewer engagement, but masterfully executed with this short. Taki Muthige (David) achieves the essential vulnerability in his performance. Our empathy is initially limited in the opening scene – a heated phone argument with girlfriend Figi (Thabi Masilo) – but once we witness his fears, suffering and pain, we are rooting for his success.

The Message in the Bottle Short Film by Kea M. Modiga
The narrative catalyst, The Ghost, compels David to face his addiction and we applaud this strong use of symbolism. Kea M. Modiga delivers an admirable debut short and the cinematography oozes quality, but sadly the audio is (at times) weak. Nonetheless, ‘The Message in the Bottle’ is a finely crafted short film that will surely relate to those with an addiction.

Cast/Crew

Director(s): Kea M. Modiga
Writer(s): Kea M. Modiga
Cast: Sive Twala, Taki Muthige, Thabi Masilo
Producer(s): Kea M. Modiga, Kwanita Lekoma
Director of Photography:
Editor(s):
Animation:
Sound:
Music:
Miscellaneous:

Specifications

Genre: Experimental, Thriller
Subjects: Addiction, Breakup, Depression, Isolation, Loneliness, Psychology, Relationships
Country: South Africa
Language: English
Year: 2021
Published in November 2021

Recommended

Cast/Crew

Director(s): Kea M. Modiga
Writer(s): Kea M. Modiga
Cast: Sive Twala, Taki Muthige, Thabi Masilo
Producer(s): Kea M. Modiga, Kwanita Lekoma
Director of Photography:
Editor(s):
Animation:
Sound:
Music:
Miscellaneous:

Specifcations

Genre: Experimental, Thriller
Subjects: Addiction, Breakup, Depression, Isolation, Loneliness, Psychology, Relationships
Country: South Africa
Language: English
Year: 2021
Collections:

Recommended

The Message in the Bottle

Synopsis

David is an alcoholic in denial of his addiction. After losing his long -time partner over a heated argument, David goes through a series of dreams where he is being chased by a mysterious character. It is during these dreams where he learns how to take back his power and gain control of his life, and move forward with much more clarity of himself and the world around him.

Review

A symbolic psychological thriller about alcoholism.

3/5
Written & Directed by Kea M. Modiga, ‘The Message in the Bottle’ follows our protagonist David, an alcoholic in denial, who is forced to face his addiction after a relationship break-up. Following a frantic binge session at home, David (Taki Muthige) wakes to mysterious occurrences in his mirror – a frighteningly flickering reflection. Psychological torture continues when he is visited by The Ghost (Sive Twala) – an aggressive being that robs David of life.

This 25-minute psychological thriller takes place entirely in David’s apartment. One-location-films can be an obstacle to maintain viewer engagement, but masterfully executed with this short. Taki Muthige (David) achieves the essential vulnerability in his performance. Our empathy is initially limited in the opening scene – a heated phone argument with girlfriend Figi (Thabi Masilo) – but once we witness his fears, suffering and pain, we are rooting for his success.

The Message in the Bottle Short Film by Kea M. Modiga
The narrative catalyst, The Ghost, compels David to face his addiction and we applaud this strong use of symbolism. Kea M. Modiga delivers an admirable debut short and the cinematography oozes quality, but sadly the audio is (at times) weak. Nonetheless, ‘The Message in the Bottle’ is a finely crafted short film that will surely relate to those with an addiction.

Recommended

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