Eye For Film >> Movies >> Little Soldier (2015) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Ten-year-old Anya (Amaris Miller) watches life go by from the safety of her foxhole – a makeshift den, draped with blankets in the corner of the living room. From here, and sometimes behind a crack in the door she watches her mum (Zawe Ashton) find her own retreat in drugs. Most people will remember the joy of sharing a sweet treat like a Kit-Kat with a parent, but it takes on an entirely different perspective when you get the chocolate and mum takes the foil.
It is by economical moments like this that debut director Stella Corradi immerses us in Anya’s life. We don’t need to see her mum actually using drugs to know what’s going on and the little girl’s arrival with a plate of fried eggs and a piece of foil, part of what passes for routine, speak volumes.
The big problem for Anya is her mum’s boyfriend (Morgan Watson). “Your mum needs me and I need you,” he tells her, after she returns from a drug drop. Corradi takes us into Anya’s colourful imagination, where age and size are no barrier to battle, meanwhile, she’s plotting some real-life skirmishes on the ground.
Corradi keeps us with Anya and her thought processes, adding to the tension of situations we, as adults, know could go very badly wrong. The film is intimately lensed by top cinematographer Robbie Ryan – whom Corradi met on the set of Ginger And Rosa - recalling some of his early work on shorts such as Cubs and Antonio’s Breakfast. It's always heartening to see established figures such as him giving support to up-and-coming talent like Corradi, whose film more than warrants his expertise.
Anya’s story is tough but not without hope and the end credits, showing melted toy soldiers slowly taking shape, are both fitting and memorable.
The film is showing as part of the London Short Film Festival, read more about that hereReviewed on: 09 Jan 2017