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The Independent Critic

Amy Whitworth, Tom Patient, Dusan Mrden, Alexa Doyle
Harvey Puttock
10 Mins.


 "Yes, Virginia" Continues on Indie Festival Circuit 

Writer/director Harvey Puttock's latest film Yes, Virginia had its world premiere at the acclaimed U.K. film festival Raindance, a return for Puttock following the success of his previous film The Many Faces of Beth Jones. This 10-minute indie short centers around Virginia (Amy Whitworth), a young woman with a seemingly extraordinary gift she has possessed her entire life - she can grant a single wish to anyone she meets. However, this "gift" comes with the disclaimer that once granted the wish is permanent and cannot be undone. 

Just imagine, eh?

We're introduced to Virginia as she appears on what is likely the latest in a series of television shows, The Evening Show with Daryll Van Well, the kind of spotlight-seeking, ratings hungry talk show that it would seem she'd likely been on before as her gift is both a remarkable opportunity and an incredible burden to bear. In this case, Daryll (Dusan Mrden) has her grant the single wish of sight to a young woman (Alexa Doyle). 

Virginia's heaviness is obvious early on, though we're not quite sure whether that heaviness comes from the burden of wishes granted or from Virginia's own life experiences. Over time, stories are told and truths are revealed and it becomes obvious that even such an incredible gift as wish-granting is limited by the sometimes harsh realities of our lives and the simple fact that there are things that even a wish can't fix. 

Whitworth shines as Virginia, projecting a compassionate weariness that makes us believe she cares about the wishes she grants while also simultaneously longing for authentic connection that's difficult to find when one possesses such a gift. Virginia balances both vulnerability and inward grief well and easily draws us to her side. As her boyfriend, Tom Patient gives a strong performance as companion and confidante. Dusan Mrden and Alexa Doyle shine in supporting roles. 

Yes, Virginia is a rather straightforward film that takes an intriguing concept and brings it to life quite nicely. Lexy Anderson's lensing is strong throughout the film's 10-minute running time, while Puttock's own editing work gives us time to linger in the issues and emotions brought forth by the film. 

The film continues on the indie fest circuit including an appearance at this weekend's Harrogate Film Festival where it's nominated for Best Fantasy. If you get a chance, definitely check it out. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic