independent film


A review: The Craftsman


The Craftsman is a short film that encompasses a deep storyline covering themes of loss, grief, and finally peace. Directed by Cody Wareham and written by Daniel Newton, the film resonates with anyone struggling in life, but also with anyone who enjoys a happy ending.

Set in the depression era, it follows the story of a toymaker who has lost his wife and son to an unnamed illness. And with that loss, he has also lost his passion for his craft. Beside the characters and dialogue, the director makes ample use of lighting and background music to dictate the tone of the story.

The movie opens and the atmosphere is dark and intense. The craftsman sits listlessly next to a rocking horse he’s struggling to work on, sorrow oozing out from him. He has been drinking and passes out. The mood changes and the whole atmosphere brightens. The progression of his memories takes the viewers from family man to the man he is today.  He wakes back up to reality still broken and bitter.

A climactic point in the film follows when his wife Anna appears to him in his dream and speaks to him gently, encouraging him to bring ‘a little beauty to this ugly world’ which is also a good way to describe this short film.

When he wakes up, the craftsman is a changed man, wanting to make things right, he follows his wife’s words. So, he sets out to do just that, moving onto a better and more hopeful chapter of his life. Peace is achieved at last. Even when all feels lost with no reason to go on, there is always something that is worth living for. It’s just a matter to look for it.

The short film played at the Toronto Independent Film Festival where it premiered on September 13, 2018. Prior to that, it was also screened at the New Filmmakers New York Film Festival where it was semi-finalist, and at the Creation International Film Festival as part of its official selection. The director and the writer, both in their twenties, seem to have a very promising road ahead of them if this short film is any indication.