We talk about being drawn into the world of a book or film. In writer/director Daniel Ziegler’s film Elodie, that becomes a literal thing when a playwright is approached for help in a kidnapping case. By one of her own characters.
Sabrina (Faith Decker) is an aspiring writer who gets a chance to have her play, “The Tungsten Dagger” performed for a local audience. It does not go well. The least her problems being her boyfriend (Ian Holt, Krampus Origins) who is also her leading man, breaks up with her just before the play starts.
That night she’s woken by an intruder in her apartment. It’s Elodie (Taylor McGlone) the heroine of her play, and she needs help. Now, thrust into the world she created, Sabrina will not only have to fix her character’s problems. She’ll have to confront her own issues as well.
“The story follows a playwright who is led into the world of her own writing when one of her fictional characters seeks her help in a kidnapping incident.” That’s the description I got when I was offered the screener for Elodie. And it had me expecting a fantasy noir.
While that is the basic plot, the film is something else at heart. It’s a look at the process of creating art. Early in the film Sabrina tells her friend Abigail (Brittney Watson, Daddy Frankenstein) that she’s stuck getting the kidnapping scene right. And in order to solve Elodie’s problem she has to do just that. Ziegler has brought writer’s block to life and dramatized it.
It’s also telling that there is only one character in the fictional world not played by the actor that portrays them in the play. And that is Elodie herself. She has to solve her issues. Both with the play and her life to become this person she wants to be. And the course of action she has to take within the world of the play reflects that. Figuratively, if not always literally.
Elodie is shot in black and white or colour depending on which reality the scene is in. It’s not the most original approach, but it works here. Film noir has always looked best shot in black and white so it’s a fitting choice stylistically. And it does look quite good if obviously done on a low budget. The night shots of what I think is Phoenix, (Black Box Films’ home city) look good. And our heroine looks good running around them in her nightgown.
Although it feels like an ambitious student film at times, Elodie is worth seeing if you’re into this style of drama. It’s currently available to stream on Amazon Prime. You can find out more on the Black Box Films’ website and Facebook page.