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Short Film Review: Happy Melancholy is Wonderfully Strange


Short Film: Happy Melancholy

Written and Directed by:  Diorella Mirasol

Starring: Heidi Valkenburg, Chris Gibson and Marty Rhone

Genre/Style: Romantic Dramedy

Happy Melancholy, a short film that was selected as part of the Cannes Short Film Corner this past May, is a charming story with heart and originality. If you enjoy quirky romantic comedies with an underlying sadness to it (take Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for instance) then this short is definitely worth checking out.

Happy Melancholy from Writer and Director Diorella Mirasol tells the story of two strangers, Penny and Gene, who run into each other in a hallway and then get to know each other inside a janitor’s closet. Together they escape the reality of their lives and enter into a united dream world of beauty and color.

Having only a short amount of time to draw you in, the film wastes no time getting right to the point of these characters as they reveal their idiosyncrasies to each other inside a closet. It’s an odd meet cute for sure, but intriguing to watch. And with winning performances from Heidi Valkenburg and Chris Gibson (and strong screen presence), one can’t help but pay attention to them. Not only that, the layers behind Penny and Gene are interesting and thought provoking to watch as they are uncovered.

In fact, one of the strengths of the film is the lovely script itself written by Mirasol. With lifelike dialogue and believably odd conversations, the scenes flow together seamlessly. The conversations between the characters flow naturally without ever sounding fake; which makes the short all the better.

But it’s not just good acting and a standout script that make this short memorable, the cinematography and beautiful pictures are not easy to forget. With gorgeous images of bright flowers in a meadow and red leaves from trees, the colors used in Penny and Gene’s dream world makes for a gorgeous display of filmmaking. And when they enter back into reality, the beauty versus the sadness makes for a wonderful contrast reminding the audience of why the film is named “Happy Melancholy” in the first place.

This short film is wonderfully strange and happily left me captivated from beginning to end. No doubt, with her unique vision and talent, Diorella Mirasol is a Writer and Director to watch out for.

You can learn more about the film at the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/happymelancholymovie



Five Star Rating border

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”


four heart border

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Happy Melancholy Teaser Trailer from dmirasol on Vimeo.



Read the interview: Filmmaker Diorella Mirasol Talks Happy Melancholy and the Cannes Film Experience

Check out our other Film Reviews

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By on October 17th, 2014

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

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