The film opens on a note of chirpy voices and brotherly banter being exchanged between two siblings. This is in direct contrast with the deeply intense and poignant themes the narrative would come to be an engagement with. After a crisis, thirteen-year-old Joey and his eight-old-brother Ricardo return to start a new chapter of their life with their mother. The scene is of nervous anticipation and feverish excitement on the part of the mother, clearly elated to have her sons back. Joey, on the other hand, is controlled and calm, setting in place another notable contrast. Read Less
The visuals serve to assert this contrast further as Joey stands against a brightly-lit window, light just within reach, while he stays completely covered in shadows. His mother's effusive love is met with a sombre, "I'm thirteen, mom", a reminder to treat him like a grown-up.
It is evident from the progression of the story that these little disagreements of approach of the two is building up to a bigger clash. A night of celebration soon acquires a ominous tone, further put in place by a smart, if not entirely unique, use of lights. As memories of a past life resurface, the emotional darkness that accompanies them threatens to engulf the precarious happiness of the night with misery, anger and resentment. Basing itself on a true story, the short film thus becomes a successful and notable portrayal of the several nuances and complexities that plague the familial space. This is further enhanced by a plot that succeeds at offering a beautiful interplay of the many forces that pull the various components of a family apart, and the resilience that ensures that they keep pushing and falling back into place.