Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival 2018 Review: “The Drop In” (2017) ★★★

‘Immigration’ and ‘immigrants’ have become some of the most commonly used words in our times. But who really are those people we call immigrants? I’d say, many might see them as aliens, or compare them to migrating birds who travel from one place to another in a search of a warm, cozy home. A distinguishing difference between human and bird migrants is that humans can obtain a valid status and remain in the country they wish to settle down. The birds, on the other hand, let’s just say remain as illegal travelers – with no papers. I believe the protagonist of the short film “The Drop In” will argue with this statement. She does not think that way; not even under the intense and violent situation she finds herself in on one fine day.

“The Drop In” is directed by Naledi Jackson and follows a young woman named Joelle (Mouna Traoré), who is about to finish her casual working day at the hair salon. She is about to lock the door when an unexpected late customer shows up asking her to fix her hairs. Joelle offers the customer to come back in the morning but it turns out the woman has a late night flight to catch. Eventually, the persistent customer convinces Joelle to stay and do her hair.

As the two women talk, their conversation takes an interesting turn. The customer asks personal questions, such as Joelle’s immigration status. The hairdresser quickly realizes that something is amiss. And her fears are soon confirmed. Things develop quickly and the two women have to face the reality. They stop hiding their true identities and even entertain the viewer with some “super-ninja” skills which are very impressively choreographed.

The best thing about short movies is that, when well narrated, they seem like a concise version of a feature film that the viewer can enjoy in a shorter time period. The second half of the film brings in some unexpected developments, which is always a good thing. The film becomes more dynamic, exciting, and gives the viewer enough background information about the two women to fully understand them. Once again I should repeat, their fighting scenes are a true eye-candy.

In conclusion, Naledi Jackson should be proud of her work. She has managed to deliver so much drama, action, and calamity in her short film, that I am sure, every viewer will enjoy it as much as I have. There is not a single issue with the performance, the credits for which should again go to Jackson who has cleverly structured her story and found the perfect cast to deliver it on such a top level.


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