6.18.2005

Apartment 206

Death has been visualized in several ways on film in elaborate blockbuster ways with a large budget and expensive computer technology, such as in “The Others” (2001) and “What Dreams May Come” (1998), to name a few. Major Hollywood films, like the examples mentioned, portray death in a past tense, emphasizing finality. Gregory Zymet (Director/Screenwriter) explores the soul’s limbo immediately following desistance of life with highly professional and artistic form without an exorbitant budget. In “Apartment 206”, free will continues to exist and the recently deceased must decide their fate.
Sandra and Conrad awake to find themselves in a dilapidated apartment. Perplexed by the situation, they attempt to leave the apartment but the black void beyond the door keeps them within the room’s walls; they have obligations in the living. At this point, the film takes a “Being John Malkovich” (1999) twist that transitions into a philosophical and psychological self-exploration, which balances on self-will and self-fate.
There are many aspects of this film that qualify it as an award worthy short from art direction to story development. The use of shadows and light (especially light!) have an intense, blaring affect upon the viewer, creating a sense of sleepless suffering that one might suggest is the consciousness of an intermediate state. The apartment is anything but homely, but more like a ghetto, crack-house setting. Conrad and Sandra’s relationship arch is proof Zymet is a talented writer as well as a talented filmmaker. He builds a strong relationship between the characters and connects the viewer to the actors.
Even more surprising, Zymet takes the concept of death beyond the will of the dead soul, and connects the dead to the living. In this sense, the living loses a part of their free will. In the end, living or dead, humans are not entirely free.

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