Captcha is a newly released short film, set in an alternate reality, in a very steampunk, 1940’s London setting. It’s a highly effective short, which in 15 minutes manages not only to tell a fun and intriguing story, but it also creates a richly detailed world for its characters to live in.
Katya (Amy Beth Hayes) is a secret agent for a shady organization, whose mission is to implant a device on Mel (Arthur Darvill) that will make him fall passionately in love with her, and thus, reveal valuable secrets. Of course, something goes wrong, and Katya is ordered to kill Mel, but love works both ways, and since Katya has developed feelings for her victim, she decides to run away with him. Katya’s murky organization clearly doesn’t like this, and sends henchmen after them, and thus begins a game of cat and mouse.
It’s a simple story (as most shorts are), which deals with themes such as: can we force people to love one another, and if we do, can there ever be true love between them? With a limited cast, great costume design, a beautifully composed score and enough action, the film is a breeze to watch, and shows a definite promise to expand upon this vast and dense world (the filmmakers aim to develop this as a feature should the short be well received).
But the story is one thing. The most striking element of Captcha is the universe writer/director Ed Tracy has created. Utilizing advanced green screen techniques and some remarkably beautiful matte paintings – aided by the help of the VFX wizards at The Mill – it doesn’t take long to be completely immersed in this world of intrigue and mistery, and to want to be transported to this strange version of London, if only for those 15 minutes. The short is indeed beautiful, and shows how there’s no need for crazy budgets (I’m looking at you, Avengers) to create a wonderful, film noir setting.
Captcha and behind the scenes bundle is available now on We Are Colony, and I can absolutely recommend you give it your time (you can put pause on Netflix for 15 minutes and come back for more House of Cards afterwards, you won’t regret it!).