By Nina Kalirai
Released in 2018 and produced in Guadeloupe, The Unicorn is a short film written and directed by Johann Nertomb. Over the course of the 18- minute long film, we see Jacques (Jean-Baptiste Perran) and Sophie (Céline Morel) attempt to overcome the obstacles in their marriage, alongside their seven-year-old daughter Amélie (Camile Desfassiaux) with a plot twist that left the theatre in gasps.
The film begins with Jacques and Sophie arguing, and Jacques tells Sophie he doesn’t think he can handle their marriage anymore. Sophie then heads upstairs to Amélie’s room where she is consoled by Amélie and her stuffed unicorn.
Sophie is later seen driving to her appointment with a therapist, with Amélie in the backseat telling her what she learned at school today. Amélie is seen holding her mother’s hand to console her, following her therapy appointment after noticing her mother seemed upset.
That same night, Amélie sneaks into her parents bed and sleep in between them both. She attempts to make them reconcile by bringing their hands together to hold, but the two let go of each other’s hands and keep to themselves. Amélie then appears conflicted on who’s back to literally take, before turning to her mom’s.
Not long after, we see Sophie trying her best to keep it together in the bathroom as she gets ready, having to re-apply her makeup after constantly sobbing. Jacques is seen downstairs putting on a suit, staring at himself long and hard in the mirror.
The two head to their car with flowers, with Amélie in the backseat, but where they arrive and who they arrive with is what left the theatre in complete shock.
The film was extremely silent. Other than Jacques and Sophie arguing in the beginning of the film, and Amélie telling her mother about her day at school, there were no lines. Just the sound of instrumental music throughout. This created emotion for the audience at the end of the film when it was silent, and we realized the tone of the music was helping guide us to this moment.
Carole Desfassiaux’s acting was immaculate in the film, fully embodying the role of a woman experiencing loss and drawing that emotion out of the audience.
The Unicorn is a film I would recommend to others because of the way it leaves you wondering what the climax of the film is throughout, up until the end.
*Editor’s note: This film was originally screened at the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival 19’.