Escape

Directed by Thomas Sheng  |  Review by Aindrila Chatterjee

Escape is a short film of 6 minutes and 40 seconds by a young filmmaker, Thomas Sheng. In this story, the director portrays the life of a Texas girl who lost her faith in God at an early age of 13. She loves to play piano and enjoys singing her favorite songs. In her songs, she sings about getting far away from her troubles. She dreams about escaping her troubles – this justifies the title of the film.

She suffered from severe OCD complications during her school days and as a result she dropped. Though she loved to play piano, she ended up feeling ashamed of playing it, because she heard that God might not be happy with it. She is being told to pray 24 hours a day. Even when she is at home and doing her work, at the back of her mind she is still praying to God. In her childhood, she thought that some angel is following her all the time to make sure that she is praying – otherwise she won’t be able to become a true Christian. This caused a severe mental stress as well as unhappiness. She was not able to free her mind from praying to God.

After a terrible car accident, she started hallucinating. She had to go through a therapy to heal herself from this trauma. She heard that ‘emptiness’ is present in our dreams also. One should fear God for one’s own good. One of her first dream she remembered was the view of the blue Caribbean sea. This dream was deeply reflecting her state of mind. And gradually, her belief in God diminished. Any unexpected thing can happen at any time, and this is how she stopped believing in God. Nothing seems permanent, according to her new ideas. There is an emotional and psychological drama present in the film where we all are trapped in such patterns and social issues which are unavoidable. In the end of the film, the director shows us a long and suffering journey of a girl, who at last lost her faith in the Almighty and her life became a broken one.