The gyration of life is an undervalued progression of manufacturing a cargo of revolting magnets to scoot us out of our comfort zone. It’s a fervent path that trails the typicality of degrees set by our antecedents. Moreover, it might be a strenuous boulevard to cycle on, considering the evolution of novel voices and whispers for personal merits. In Floria Anna Buda’s 27, 27-year-old Alice cycles on that very same road for a day that will follow her own magnet of aspirations.

We see Alice in a meadow of flowers, specifically beetles, which embarks on its own voyage in the center of a surreptitious day. Blood out of her nose doesn’t harmonize with her rest mode, and there is an allusion of serenity that beds her well with her assembly to nature. Two police officers (male and female officers) approach her and request her ID for verification, and she is charged with being under the influence of drugs.

Alice arises with a plan to lure herself out of the offense through her susurration (an indication of taboo encounters), which swings the inadvertent gathering into a whole new biosphere of bodily connections and desires. The jolting shock machine slides through the window when we see Alice in an overfilled, shady room while she is experiencing self-pleasure through her vast visions of sexual bliss, just to be prompted back to the end of her nerves that it was a dream that kept her away from her certainty of life proclamations.

Director Flora Anna Buda cossets us to an expedition of the existing generation of vicenarians beholding the clutter of acquiring responsibilities and finding the spot to keep themselves intact. The prerequisite to escape from the grips of being continuously nurtured by parents/guardians is to be under their roof, as most graduates are staying back with their parents due to the low average salary given (as perceived on the radio while Alice takes a break in her room). The socio-economy and political stand of the country has metastasized into a hushed scuffle of obligation for the growing adults to diminish themselves from acquiring a stable slant to polish their planned future.

There is also a pillow of apprehending sexuality in the primary ages of leasing emotions to sway to the monarchies of longings, the conspicuousness of acquaintances, and the progression of accepting the normality of diverse orientations. Alice sits on the peak of the mountains while pandering to her sexual fantasies with her imaginary male and female connections, which ultimately lets out a sensation of consenting a person to let go of all the sequestered imprisonment from the back of their hearts.

There is a cry for freedom of choice, a settlement of all the guilt trips that have seeded to a shady potted plant, and the need to sightsee the baffling gems that have lustrated through her sexual needs. What was once a forbidden fruit of sin is now a necessary turnover of beholding the luscious fruit of wonder.

27 (2023) Short Film Review

We also see Alice having a rooftop party with her friend (maybe, or not?), who also approves her backslash of being dependent at an age of scoring marks for visibility, and discusses life partner choices and the post-planning queries with a guy Alice has been talking to over the phone, indicating the possibility of love foundation. ‘Date at home’ becomes another material to camouflage the subtraction of privacy, which Alice explains as a chastity belt grafted on the body and a chitin shell.

The blaring effect of being on the zenith of an overflowing plate of endurance goes right into a night of dance and ecstasy, simmered with techno beats and modern rock palettes. It’s an awakening of sorts, an uprise of being in the zone of a mind leader that gets noticed in this scene and passes into multiple fragments of colorful outlines and dimensions. A sign of a rainbowed sensation with respect to Alice’s caprices gets smothered like a jumble of candies in a rick.

At this point, the film shifts back to her dreams and lingers to emerge to a peculiar moment. The limelight here is the abrupt confusion of twigging which partition of the film is the reality or the dream, as the thin line that splits them comes to an immersive sleeve of captivation. There is an emotive breed of distress and the qualms to confront the dark books of reality, which also seems to affect Alice in her dream world. The phase of empowering the need to let go comes with a whole load of endeavors, and reaching new heights first needs a leap of confidence.

27, which won the short Palme d’Or this year at the Cannes Film Festival, is a film about transitioning into adulthood amid all the bedlam and exquisiteness of life. Alice is a representative of the clusters formed by the rudiments present in the movie, where they attract each other like atoms in a state of creating bonds. The symbolic inclusion of beetles that act as her spirit insect shows how being free has a concept of rules that need to be followed, where the meeting point of transition valleys a way to step up into maturity.

The mode of transporting one’s self can be spooned through rambling along the sides of attachments or, in Alice’s case, through a bicycle that connects her to her world of discoveries.

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27 (2023) Short Film Links: IMDb
27 (2023) Short Film Cast: Natasa Stork, Ádám Fekete, Franciska Farkas
27 (2023) Short Film Genre: Animation, Short, Romance | Runtime: 11m
Where to watch 27

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