Extreme is a short film directed by Anne Mulhall and Emmy award winning Britt McTammany that won first place in the Providence Film Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and it takes an interesting and thoughtful look at human emotions and how we all deal with different things in different ways.
The film opens with a woman placing ordinary household objects on a table which then spells out the film’s title Extreme. We then see her meticulously organising her entire house and making sure everything is in the perfect position for when her sister comes over later that day, even though she doesn’t really want her sister to come.
The film follows this prim and orderly woman as she struggles to cling to her sense of reality. Her sister enlists the help of a social worker to show that her compulsive lifestyle is a delusion. But is it really? Extreme is just ten minutes long, but it showcases some excellent filmmaking. From the close-ups on the woman so we don’t see her face until towards the end of the film, to the lighting and all of the focus pulls, the cinematography is excellent.
However, the film never fully captures the audience and it’s not really until the very end that it really has a whole lot to say. It’s good in that it does tackle the big topic of grief, an issue that’s universal and unfortunately applies to everyone. And it does a good job of putting us in someone else’s shoes but in doing so and not quite giving us the full story and the bigger picture until the very end, it just lacks anything to push it over the edge and make it a memorable short film.
45 million American adults experience mental illness and Extreme does a good job of telling just one of these stories about a woman, her sister and grief. It highlights mental illness in a unique way however the short itself is never especially memorable and despite being well made, it doesn’t really stick with you after the credits.
DIRECTORs: Anne Mulhall & Britt McTammany
STARS: Jaclyn Cole, Salem Murphy, Kristen Walsh
RUNTIME: 10 minutes