Gabriel Ponniah, Editor In Chief
ATX Screen Scene
Continuing to work its way around the globe, the #AniFab repertoire arrives in the middle east with this submission from Israel.
My Invisible Friend playfully depicts a dog on a journey to rescue his burnt-out owner from his boss. Along the way, it intersects with concepts like labor, exploitation, class, and media, but never allows itself to get bogged down in dissecting these, preferring instead to tell a simple, heartfelt story.
While the simplicity of the story and emotional beats works to endear the audience to the project, the pacing leaves something to be desired. This could certainly be a result of technological constraints, or the skill and capacity of the animation, but the result is the same. Several beats linger too long, well past the point at which the audience understands the point and begins to feel understimulated. Perhaps expanding the story while streamlining the plot would not only make for a more robust storytelling experience, but allow the film to build to a more resounding conclusion.
In My Invisible Friend, we see the importance of animal companions as defense against the harshness and injustice of life. The title, of course, plays on the dog’s surreptitious journey to its owner, but also comments on the way in which our pets are always with us, whether we can see them or not. There are good bones to this story, even if it doesn’t quite meet its potential in execution.