What would you do to save money? Forgo the vacation you’ve been planning? Sell your house? Opt for the cheap little hybrid over a monster gas-guzzler? In Will Kraus and Dan Matyas’ short film “Cut All Expenses,” one man reaches into the darkest crevice of his soul in order to save himself from bankruptcy.
Coming in at a tight three and a half minutes, the film is very clear in its message; debt forces people to act in extraordinary ways to save themselves. As a student facing $70,000 in loan debt, I can commiserate. All credit goes to Kraus and Matyas for getting their message across in the most shocking manner possible. I won’t spoil the ending but it’s worth three minutes of your day to see it. I will say that I suspected what the ending would be, but I didn’t believe they had the courage to pull it off. I audibly gasped when my suspicions came to fruition.
I just wish I had been able to see their vision a little better. Clearly, the filmmakers were going for a dark and atmospheric cinematic style and in their enthusiasm may have gone a little overboard. Much of the acting is lost in the shadows. The audience would have felt a greater connection to the protagonist had we actually been able to see his eyes and his expressions with greater clarity, which in turn would have made the ending a little more gut wrenching. That aside, this is a solid effort and a worthwhile way to spend three minutes of your day.
“Cut All Expenses” premiered at SXSW and is available for viewing below.
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