Short Film Review- La Ruta Natural (The Natural Route) (2004)

Browsing the Web, I found this remarkable short film whose contents took me by surprise. Spaniard director Alex Pastor created this short that went on to win the Sundance 2004 International Short Film award. It’s a film that you may have to see more than once to really understand it. In Spanish with English subtitles, the film is still downright outstanding, it’s no wonder it won awards. I think the fact that I can understand it either way just amplifies the raw environment in which the short is filmed. The colors, the details, and the cold narrative tone is just flawless here, and it is truly nothing I have ever seen before (I don’t watch short films often, but still).

What stands out first is how the story is told backwards, but in a very strange and alarming manner; as if it was fate. There is no dialogue between the characters, and you kind of feel glad about it, because it just wouldn’t be the same with it. It’s not needed, especially when you have this strong force of storytelling all coming from the works of a young director. A man, Divad, wakes up from an odd accident in the shower and walks through life in what he feels to be a cruel world. He doesn’t understand why the people in his life are there until he slowly recollects the true meanings of memories in his past/present and tries to piece together the sentimental voids in his mind.

One thing that I noticed after watching this film was that the names of this man’s family spell out legitimate names backwards. Divad- David, wife Arual- Laura, and son Siul-Luis. It’s the obscure details that also emphasize films, especially this one. This short film is a gem among other shorts. How it took me forever to see it before now is beyond my knowledge. Via Films Short

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