Inedible Review by Jen Bush
Written and Directed by Etana Edelman
Cast: Manasvi Sharma, Megan Knapp, Marcelo Guzman
Manasvi Sharma is a stage and screen actress hailing from Himachal Pradesh, India. She trained both in New York and California from prestigious institutions such as the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. She prides herself on bringing authenticity to each character she portrays. Ms. Sharma was just seen in Legend of the Chalk Circle at the landmark American Theatre of Actors. She was also the lead character in the short film Inedible.
Inedible is a short artsy film that addresses eating disorders. We see the main character played by Ms. Sharma throughout her workday in an office. On several occasions she is offered food from her co-workers in the break room. She politely declines a bagel and spits out a slice of pizza to the horror of her colleagues. We witness this character pouring out an iced coffee and just chomping on the ice. She takes a bite out of a Styrofoam cup, eats paper, and secretly eats dirt. The type of eating disorder that the main character is dealing with is known as Pica. Pica is an eating disorder in which people eat things not usually considered food.
The interesting thing about Inedible was that it relied solely on sound effects and facial expressions. There was no dialogue. Each time the main character ate, we heard every crunch. When a paper bag containing food was open, it was loud and exaggerated. It was reminiscent of some scenes in horror movies where we hear nothing but heavy breathing or footsteps to build tension. The paper bag sound effect was brilliantly metaphorical. The food in the bag was the main character’s demons.
Manasvi Sharma did a wonderful job capturing the desperation of a person struggling with an eating disorder. She successfully conveyed all the emotions that her character was experiencing by using her expressive eyes and meaningful facial expressions. The evidence of her top notch training was in her performance. Etana Edelman made unique directorial choices. The sets, costumes and cinematography were all in place to make an impactful four-and-a-half-minute film.