How far would you go to undo a mistake from the past? Does time heal all wounds? Does worrying about any time other than the present hinder or helps one's life? These and other questions are raised by actor and filmmaker Chad Eric Smith's film short "Rumination." As directed by Smith, "Rumination" is a triumph of visual storytelling.

The film stars the excellent Kelvin Drama as Elliot, a man who is tortured night and day by his breakup with his girlfriend Monique, played by the magnificent Angus Whinfield. Even before the breakup, Elliot expressed his fear of losing Monique. After the breakup, Elliot struggles to live life alone.

He dreams about Monique every night. The pain is always there for Elliot. Therapy and anti-depressants don't work for him.

Nice guys and rumination

Elliot appeared to have a case of Nice Guy Syndrome throughout the film. According to renowned author and speaker Dr. Robert Glover, nice guys ruminate more than other people. Elliot is certainly a character that ruminates over what is past, and aches for second chances; we've all been there. There was a subtext to the film that asked: Did Elliot say "I love you" enough to Monique?

The brilliance of Smith's storytelling is that the story unfolds, layer upon layer, like the intricate workings of a Russian doll. The unfolding leads to many reveals and twists. So deep and so numerous are the rabbit holes in the story, you have to put on your "astute viewer" hat and keep it fastened tightly to your head throughout the viewing of this film.

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Rumination on performances

Danny Gavigan gave a manic performance as Renard the eccentric neuroscientist. His scene with Drama is breathtaking in its intensity. Gavigan ups the enthusiasm level to a point where Renard comes off as more of a hack than a scientist. Renard tells Elliot that "time and consciousness are interwoven", and other such pseudo-scientific rantings, before handing him a pill, a pill that seemingly affects physical time-travel — or does it simply affect consciousness?

Smith, along with Cinematographer Andy Evans, made effective use of high-speed, reverse images to indicate time travel. I loved Smith's use of his song "Klexos" and Jonathan Bey's music. The locations in the film, including the Washington, D.C. area's National Harbor, added a definitive depth to Elliot and Monique's backstory.

"Rumination" gives the viewer plenty of mental material to keep him or her interested. Drama and Whinfield had a strong rapport in the film, and are actors to keep an eye on. Smith has a sure-fire winner to enter into the festival circuit, and his talent promises to take him far.