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Switch [Reswin Bahas, Australia, 2021]

Australian short film Switch takes the audience on a journey of regret and remorse from the perspective of a gas station cashier. Director Reswin Bahas blurs the line between reality and imagination when the cashier starts experiencing hallucinations through watching his customers pass in and out of the gas station.

Based off Bahas’ own personal memories between himself and his father, the film begins with an argument between a father and son outside the gas station. This develops into an interaction with the cashier who observes their conversation and imagines himself as the son. This pattern of psychosis repeats itself, as the cashier starts imagining himself as the other customers in the store, including a breakup between a couple and a regretful homeless man. The story comes together to explore the themes of where the mind can go when consumed by remorse, aided by the banality of the cashier observing the everyday experiences of his customers.

Whilst the story captures an interesting sense of nostalgia that is a very common and a natural human experience, there appears to be a slight disconnect between the multiple storylines and the protagonist. The handheld camera that literally ‘switches’ between characters during moments of intense conversation creates a fast pace, which at times becomes confusing to the plot, as well as lessening the emotional impact. However, as the story progresses it starts to slightly make sense why there is a sense of confusion. Certainly, the film sets an isolating tone, yet it could benefit from using less overpowering sound, which sometimes distracts from the message.


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