What Did Jack Do? (2017 Short Film) Review – Transitional Noir Starring A Capuchin

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The whole world is wild at heart and weird on top“- David Lynch, the infamous director puts his anatomy of the human psyche to test in his What Did Jack Do? (Short Film).

Lynch’s last outing in the 18 episode TV series Twin Peaks: The Return failed to cater to the creation of nostalgia and relatability with the underwhelming reception of the show. This time around Netflix’s What Did Jack Do? a black and white short, spanning over 17 mins gives an intricate artistic insight into the creative process of Lynch’s filmmaking.

The premise is weird but extremely well executed that provides a mystified version of criminal interrogation as the rugged detective interrogates the suspect Jack played by an odd casting of a cute Capuchin Monkey! Yes, you read it correctly, the interrogation process is like satire with a breath of fresh air running throughout the 17mins. The sequence, pacing, and relevance of the dialogues are beautifully crafted to demonstrate the verbal exchange between the superimposition of the speaking monkey and the underlying callousness that is prevalent in the demeanor of the detective. What Did Jack Do? breaks down several stereotypical cliches the exist in an interrogation scene of a classic noir thriller and even takes a jab at the pseudo-psychological thoughts that run rampant in our innately psychological wired brains.

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The creative process of crafting such a brilliant piece of work, that will rejuvenate the art of aura of Lynch, required an effortless blending of old and new techniques of inculcating visual effects in a film. Editing is aptly stylized to bring out the emotions conveyed by the short and puts out a noir-like charm of an old film. The use of static camera angles and their usage in creating tension in a scene is sublime.

Soundscapes that are created in the short, come out as chronologically accurate and adds to the surrealistic reminiscence of a classic noir film. The climactic soundtrack, as well as the ambient sounds, are minimalistically mastered to ensure the viewers are engaged in the words spoken by the characters. Manipulation of voice that puts forth the voice of Jack brings out the emotive aspects of a Stephen Hawking-Esque voice while making you wonder about the whole experience, minutes after finishing the film. The film is not for everyone but I suggest you give it a try as this might introduce you to a whole new area for your film exploration quests and trying to understand the impact of art on our society.


What Did Jack Do? (Short Film) is streaming on Netflix.

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Shreshtha Shukla
"Thou art the suffering from which unwarranted melancholia emerges" Shreshtha Shukla is a writer, teacher, and a film enthusiast.

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