ANDREW J.D. ROBINSON - 2m30s - Body Horror / Drama
REVIEWED BY VICKY BAGLEY and JEREMIAH ROSARIO
Body modification is a form of art, it is when altering of the human anatomy is made, or the physical appearance of a human being is changed. Placebo is a short film that tells the story of a woman who wants to change the way she looks, by having surgery on her face. "Placebo", is a substance/treatment with no active effect. Sometimes it is given in order to deceive the patient into thinking that it's actually working; this is called the "placebo effect", which in Latin means, "I shall please".
...and that's really the point here, isn't it? A treatment, for what seems to be a disorder or illness attached to identity and body image, that offers resolution simply through the power of suggestion. It begs the question then, why does she believe she is someone else to begin with? Perhaps a feeling of inadequacy, maybe shame, maybe the moments where she "returns" to her original appearance are only fleeting because there is a deep pain attached to that identity, and so, escaping through a regression is necessary. There are no real answers given in Placebo, but that's a good thing I feel. Funny enough, it's the gaps in story-telling where you'll find the best parts of it, and that's thanks to the power of suggestion, which comes by way of what is shown. For me, when I add that up together with what I've created in my mind, I'm left with a sad and gruesome little horror tale that's as clever as it is profound.