FILM REVIEW: Dora




The coronavirus pandemic impacted everyone when it unleashed upon the world at the end of 2019. Of the sectors particularly hit pretty badly was that of odd jobs and Dora, the new short film by Julián De La Chica, tells the story of one such worker who finds her life upended by the unpredictability of the pandemic. The film tells the story of Dora, an aspiring hairdresser who lives in Queens, New York. As the pandemic explodes and brings every aspect of human life to a standstill, Dora finds her troubles increasing gradually forcing her to wind down and re-evaluate everything.


Right off the bat, the acting is fantastic. Every actor involved in the productions gives it their all and the results show. Special accolades should be mentioned for De La Chica at this stage who knows how to uncover authentic performances from the actors, giving justice to the script. The writing and acting usually makes or breaks every production and here, both these aspects work in tandem to deliver a moving story that hits all the right notes.


Furthermore, the technical aspects of the production are fantastic in their own right. From the sound mixing and sound editing that makes the emotional moments hit just a little bit more authentic to the frantic phone conversations as Dora is asked by her employer to sacrifice more of her time for the business during the pandemic, the sound is really what elevates the story to another level entirely. In addition, the visuals complement the sound perfectly as well. From the creative decision to go with the black and white colour palette to stationary shots that signify the stillness in the lives of the characters due to the pandemic, every visual choice works perfectly in service of the story.


Dora is both an artistic triumph and an emotional story at its heart. The black and white hues work to magnify the emotions at display and the subtle subtext peppered throughout works wonders in expanding the narrative beyond the limits of what exposition as a filmmaking tool can achieve. Julián De La Chica has made a potent film, one that works on several levels simultaneously. Visually poignant, thematically relevant and artistically creative, Dora is a winner.


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