A Typical Day [Hossein Jeyroodi, Iran, 2019]
This tale, full of dark magic and strange rituals, comes to us from Iranian director Hossein Jeyroodi. A Typical Day concerns a man who is an ordinary photographer by day but, by night, uses magic to control people’s lives and cause disasters.
It is an appealing idea for a short horror film and the execution of many aspects is done well. Appropriately, for a film about a photographer, attention has clearly been paid to the use of light. Many scenes are set up in such a way that, visually, there is interplay between light and darkness. Jeyroodi proves to be a strong director visually and also gives a decent performance in the central role, saying much with just looks, despite the film being light on dialogue.
Sound design is another engaging feature of the film, particularly in the opening scene where the suddenness of a ringing phone becomes unsettling and uncomfortable. As well, the ominous musical score that plays throughout the film gives the impression that it is constantly building to something, creating tension and unease in the audience.
Where A Typical Day can be criticised is in its realisation of its central idea. When the protagonist begins using magic to cause disasters around the world, the film cuts to some rather obvious stock footage. Of course, it is not feasible to ask a short film of this budget to stage fires, floods etc., but one wonders whether the film would have benefitted from altering its premise to something smaller in scale. For example, if the photographer was targeting/killing individuals who had wronged him.
Still, with a strong premise and some strong direction A Typical Day is an interesting and evocative slice of horror.
'A Typical Day' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.