The search for self-identity and the introspective crossroads that we all face has been the subject of many films. Kuwaiti Film Director Hamad Al-Sarraf joins the continuing discussion of self-reflection with his short film Viktor (2015). The film revolves around Viktor, a writer who has become stuck, unable to continue. He is faced with the door of time where he fears he might lose himself forever or find himself, only to lose those he is closest to.
Through the door of time, Viktor is confronted by an old acquaintance who helps guide him towards his ultimate realization. Al-Sarraf has a very skillful eye for abstract film making as the film never seems to make any resolutions instead forcing the audience to make up their own conclusion of what the film is trying to say.
Al-Sarraf moves the story along briskly and with considerable skill but the short duration of the film makes it difficult to fully process the message. The film requires several viewings for audiences to grasp all the subtle nuances that make Viktor such a visual splendor.
Hamad Ashkanani, playing the titular role, excels at portraying the inner turmoil faced by Viktor and he was also convincing as Viktor’s brother Josef, who is worried about the well-being of his brother along with Sofia, played by Sabekah Al-Rashed, whose relationship with Viktor is never made clear. Raj, played by Waleed Shaalan, added to the mysterious atmosphere. His cryptic sayings helped elevate the ethereal sense of the film.
From lighting to the camera angles, Viktor engages audiences on many different levels. The minimalist nature of the film along with the abstract imagery helps to create an environment of self-discovery and reaffirms the importance of introspection while leaving any sort of resolution in the hands of the audience.
Viktor is an engaging story that adds interesting perspective to an ever continuing journey of reflection. The film could have benefitted from being longer but it was successful in achieving its goal.
Click here to view Viktor
– Zaid Al-Kazemi