Crossing: Short Film Review

Synopsis: A desperate man is forced to choose whether he should become a hero or fall victim to a robbery.

For a film that spans only five minutes, Crossing successfully told a compelling story about a desperate security guard struggling to find a means to save his ailing daughter. During his commute, Gabriel Arkanhel, who is brilliantly portrayed by Nino Mendoza, mulls over the decision to hold up a bus when the decision is abruptly made for him.

Lead actor Nino Mendoza deserves a lot of praise for effectively conveying the turmoil that Gabriel was feeling — his desperation, his anxiety, and in the end his resolve to make the final decision based on his warring emotions.

Without trying to give too much away, filmmakers Marc Misa (director) and writer LC de Leon were able to sustain a level of suspense that palpitated throughout the film. It was also very clever to name him after the archangel Gabriel, protector of the meek. While it seemed so in the beginning, its still a toss up by the end.

There was a general sense of foreboding that would not go away, and this seemed like a reflection of the lead character’s inner turmoil. It does not let up even after the first wave of the crisis was averted, only to worsen with the wife’s follow up call.

As the film progressed, audiences felt a gradual escalation of  uncertainty leading up to the ambiguous ending which was a perfect way to close the story. The one thing that I had an issue with was the performance of the rest of the cast which did not meet the level of intensity of the lead star.

As Gabriel’s mind spirals with darker thoughts, everyone seemed very chill despite the sense of danger that should have been illustrated by the hold up situation. Before and after the crisis, there was not one of the passengers who really conveyed the sense of distress the crisis should have evoked. When the supposed crises abated, even the cheers seemed halfhearted. Come on! Energy, people.

All in all, I loved that Crossing, like its title, straddled the gray area that connected good and evil, black and white. In its quiet approach, it compelled the viewers’ mind to run rampant with possibilities. This is something quite astounding to accomplish in such a short period.