TIFF Review: We Wanted More

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 8.37.04 PM

Stephen Dunn’s short film We Wanted More personifies the inner turmoil and sacrifice of an up-and-coming global superstar. About to embark on her first world tour, Hanna (Christine Horne) begins losing her voice, forcing her to face a personified version of her inner conflict of how much is too much to sacrifice in the pursuit of her dreams, and ultimately coming to – quite literally – a shocking conclusion.

It’s certainly no new revelation that our biggest dreams come with personal sacrifices. We’ve witness many child acting careers to know that sometimes the pursuit of super stardom can simply end up in burnt lights, unable to mentally nor emotionally handle what was given up. But how personal a level these sacrifices can come from is the root of Stephen Dunn’s latest psychological short.

About to embark on her first major tour, singer Hanna – driven by performance yet mentally and emotionally damaged by the breakup with a former flame – suddenly starts doubting what she’ll be giving up in order to pursue a career in show business. She finds herself quickly stricken with a strange vocal problem, coughing up vile-looking liquid and unable to get any of her perfect notes out.

This is where the mentally twisting, screen-capturing intensity is unleashed in a hair-raising manner that will creep and enthrall viewers, as we come face-to-face with one of Hanna’s inner demons. Hanna must quickly decide whether her hidden desire to start a family, or her passion for music, will win out in the eerie, psychological battle between her heart’s two desires – to start a family, or to become the star she has always dreamed of.

There’s not much dialogue from Horne herself, however she embodies the conflicted role with poise, up until the jarring end, counterbalanced by the smooth score that will leave a lasting impact on viewers who too will be left considering how much is too much to give up.