Take Me Out

Take Me Out ★★★★

Depression. We’ve pretty much been trained to not discuss it. We’ve been led to think that it’s some kind of a sign of weakness. Therefore, we try to construct a false sense of normality. At least I have.

It's something that’s tough to talk about because of how all-consuming it is. It’s like a shadow that’s cast over, turning you cold to everything around you. You push people away because being alone feels better than asking for help.

Take Me Out, the latest short film from Fritz Frauendorf, is a project he’s been working on for the better part a year, maybe more. It’s something very personal to him, which shows. His passion is evident from the opening seconds. The uncomfortably real approach he takes with a character dealing with depression is something not many Hollywood directors would do. It’s not uplifting or inspiring. Shying away from the desolate nature of this mental illness would do a disservice to everyone who deals with it, first-hand or otherwise.

Using the numerous tools of cinema, Fritz cleverly depicts the inner workings of his protagonist’s mental state in an attempt to draw us closer to a person that has seemingly built walls around him. The change in aspect ratio throughout various key moments in the film was a risky choice as it could have easily come off as amateurish, however I applaud the intention behind it; Fritz forms a subliminal path that leads straight from the viewer to his lead actor.

The cinematography is probably my favorite aspect of ‘Take Me Out’ every shot feels so calculated in what it’s trying to achieve. It’s stunning without being showy, a fine balance that most film students would fail in achieving. The gritty backdrops and dull blue/greyish color palette perfectly augments the stagnant disposition of the protagonist.

For a filmmaker who’s in his early stages, it’s truly surprising just how personal and mature the subject matter he chooses to deal with are. His natural ability of presenting vulnerability makes his stories so much more relatable and hard-hitting than they would be otherwise. I was lucky enough to see this early and would recommend everyone to check it out.

"I still don't know what's worse. How familiar this all feels. Or the fact that it all still feels like nothing. A mind running off its tracks."