Two minutes. That's all the time Malek Rizkallah needs to get thew viewer empathizing with the pair of crash test dummies in his unsettling animated short Crush.
We're really digging Crush's stark look and feel; the film's aesthetic is almost antiseptic, its central concept pretty undemanding. And yet, it manages to be effective in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) that simplicity.
Here's what I don't get: Rizkallah writes in the film's description that the connection between the couple "[drives] them to defy their destination," and we clearly see the driver swerve to avoid the impact barrier. The final scene shows them soaring blissfully through the air (having just been ejected through the car's windshield?), but the scene immediately before that shows the dummies crumpling from the impact, their bodies limp and inanimate-looking. Do they "survive" the crash, or are they stuck in some kind of endless loop of sentience and lifelessness?
Rizkallah created Crush for his final project in Vancouver Film School's 3D Animation and Visual Effects program. Here's hoping we see more from him soon.