A feature-length story being dissected into individual short films is a concept full of possibilities, only to be expanded on when three filmmakers sign up to shape the narrative. Canadian thriller Ordinary Days take a swing at this challenge but, unfortunately, produces weak results.
As stated, the film is comprised of three shorts directed by different filmmakers – Jordan Canning, Kris Booth, and Renuka Jeyapalan. Canning (Suck It Up) kicks the film off with Marie, a film about the gradual devastation of a mother (Marie played by Torri Higginson) narrowing down the whereabouts of her missing daughter, Cara (Jacqueline Byers), before it becomes an official investigation. Her husband (Richard Clarkin) seems distant, which begins to chip away at Marie’s composure. It’s a conventional segment carried by some efficient performances, but the audience can appreciate it in retrospect.
Marie briefly introduces Detective Jonathan Brightbill (Michael Xavier) who is brought on to work this case – Kris Booth’s segment Brightbill tells the story from Jonathan’s perspective. The style of the film also changes from an observational character piece to a cop drama, which is a seamless shift, but the short is about as typical as the one that preceded it.
Renuka Jeyapalan answers questions with her segment Cara. Again, when the perspective changes, the style takes another turn – this time emulating the look and feel of a survival movie. Ordinary Days’ screenwriter Ramona Bracket adds more context as well but, by doing so, makes Brightbill semi-redundant as she overwrites Jonathan’s contributions. Does Cara end Ordinary Days on a high note? Not entirely. Byers’ portrayal of strained endurance is authentic but, like the previous two short films, the filmmaking is nothing more than a standard example of its genre.
It’s all just, well, ordinary.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie
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