Film Review: Fix Me
Fix Me is a moving short film by triple threat writer-director-actress Woonyea Han. Han is a multidisciplinary artist from Korea and she’s bringing her many talents and sharp aesthetic senses to the forefront in this eye candy of a short.
The film ties together the past and the present in two uniquely told storylines. In the first, our main character (played by Woonyea Han herself) goes through a difficult breakup and is trying to find a way to ease her pain. She distracts herself by deciding to repair an old pair of broken shoes given to her by her mother, perhaps as a metaphor for repairing her broken heart. The second, revealed to us at the shoe store through a series of dreamy flashbacks, is the childhood story of Steven, today a shoe-artisan, but in the past - a mute boy who was struggling to communicate his inner world to his parents and was being treated as mentally incapable as a result. Arriving at the same shoe store with his mother, young Steven is inspired by everything he sees around him and we get to peek into his imagination, where words are available and communication is simple and clear. The shoes speak to him in his mind and ask for his help, and he quietly rises to the task. The old store owner is impressed by his gift and compliments his natural understanding of the craft of shoe repair, and by that grants the boy what might be his first positive encounter with an adult.
Han’s storytelling style is so original and unique, and every shot in this short is like a colorful gift you get to unwrap, that will grant you an insight into her fascinating mind. The cinematography is personal and intimate and the story immediately pulls you in, and though sad at times, the film feels like a warm, uplifting hug.
Han did a great job in portraying her main character, and surrounded herself with a strong supporting cast that deserves acknowledgement as well. With very little dialogue, both Slate Holtsclaw as young Steven and Raul Ojeda as the adult give captivating emotional performances and create a solid, believable character together. Actress Roni Weissman brings to screen a round and complex character with a layered performance as Steven’s mother, skillfully capturing the mix of love, hope, frustration, and despair that her character is often facing as a concerned parent to a child with disability.
Just like the shoe-artisan character in her script, Woonyea Han was gifted with a deeper understanding of visual concepts, and this film is a humble celebration of her talent.