After breaking down on the side of the road and tossing his phone, a man finds a dying dog. Giving the dog some water grants him a wish. Director Will Blank co-wrote with Richard Kapones and they adapted the story from a comic strip by Marian Churchland to create a story that resonates on many levels. The story they build here seems simple at first, but as it advances and the lead thinks of what he wants to wish for, it makes the viewer think about what they would wish for and why. The film may be short but it doesn’t lose any of its story’s effectiveness.
The cast for Limbo is small with two actors and one voice actor. The man who finds the dog is played by Raul Castillo who does great narrating his own character’s life and acting in it. He brings reality to a story about a wish granting dog. In the smaller part of the woman believed to be his girlfriend is actress Anahi Bustillos who does the most of her short scenes, establishing a character the lead deeply cares about. The voice actor behind the dog is a surprising and highly recognizable by his voice, that actor being Sam Elliott. His voice work is on point for the few lines he has, proving that he was a major score for this part.
The dog voiced by Sam Elliott must be mentioned as it’s a work of art. It looks like an old school animatronic giving him a whimsical quality to go with its sadness and the seriousness of his situation. This look is paired with the almost somber cinematography by Alejandro Wilkins who frames, sometimes close-up sometimes far away, the characters in a manner that shows the loneliness of their situation while helping the viewer to focus on the characters themselves as well as what they are going through.
Limbo is a grey dream that captures the emptiness, loneliness of the desert and one man’s life with a touch of hope in the form of a dying dog.
It’s the kind of film that makes the viewer think about what is most important, what they would wish for as the lead goes through his thought process. It covers themes of regret and hope, of doing what is best for them. It also shows great talent by its creative team and makes you want to see more.