The Shira Alon Collection Part II: Through Her Glasses & Shift

Review by Lew Antoine

Through Her Glasses and Shift – both produced and starring Shira Alon – deal in betrayal. That betrayal might be emotional, personal, or business, the line is blurred there, which adds to the engaging storytelling in both. Both – also – use misjudgment as a plot devise. A very clever concept.

Through her Glasses follows Tamar (Alon) as she enjoys the success of a new restaurant under her control. All seems well until Alya (Aishwarya Sonar) stops by. Seems she had a crush on Alya which promptly ended when Alya found out and cut all ties. Tamar is now completely off her game and unfocused. The first few minutes of the film show us a driven restaurateur who puts work before all else and then a quick exchange with the young lady in question turns her to mush!

It takes the help of her general manager and her head chef to help her weed through a triggering moment from her past that left her with a crippling psychosis waiting in the wings all these years.

Shira Alon is perfectly fine as the career woman but its when she comes face-to-face with a defining moment from her past that we see her best work. Confused, depressed, unsure, and just plain afraid, we watch her go from pride to embarrassment over her station in life and commanding to petulant with her staff. Alon’s portrayal could be a perfect afterschool special for every LGBTQ teen who has ever been betrayed or embarrassed by their orientation by the object of their affection.

Another clever device is her costars, Ronan Arthur and Eric Charles Jorgenson, as general manager and head chef, respectively, serve as a Yin/Yang pair of confidants. Arthur supplying sensitivity and Jorgenson, strength. Both men offered commanding performances.

There are some elements that might seem contrived in this – usually around Aishwarya Sonar, who plays her role with a slight condescending tone and who brings her (male) fiancée with her to the restaurant. One might assume that this type of portrayal was needed to get the point across but it might have been interesting if the jilter was oblivious or even tender.

Aishwarya Sonar fairs better when she returns with Shira Alon in a detective drama called Shift. The title ended-up having a unique double meaning as a relentless detective (another career woman played by Alon) enlists the aid of a colleague to help solve a series of multiple murders. From the start, this drama employs grand old murder mystery effects including Hitchcockian camera twists supplied by director César Cacho coupled with nighttime settings and foreboding music. Sonar is compelling as the terrified partner fearing involvement in a case that might be “too big,” while Alon hands us the old fashioned tunnel-vision detective of the good old days but engrossing when played by a young woman. We ride her abundant energy all the way to an ending with an unexpected twist.

What connects these two pieces featuring Ms. Alon is a parable about individuals who use work as a coping mechanism. In “Glasses,” it shows us a lonely character, in “Shift,” that’s the surprise ending. Her demeanor and acting style exemplify this parable beautifully and make for engaging works.


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