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‘Cozen’ Movie Review: Is it believable?

Cozen, a film directed by Mark Okodoi, is a drama, mystery movie that explores themes of morality, infidelity, betrayal, exploitation, and death. The film follows a mundane day of Andrew (Benson Ochungo), a middle-aged café owner who is struggling financially. He receives customers in his café and each one of them has personal issues they are dealing with, but as the movie progresses their issues and solutions are intertwined with each other.

A still image from 'Cozen' short film
A still from Cozen

The casting of the film is great, and the actors did their due diligence in portraying the characters they are playing. It was great to see well-established actors in the short film who have been in bigger productions, that is Benson Ochungo and Henry Ebuka. The film direction had a professional polish to it, but you could tell the director is still learning the ropes and working to find his voice as a filmmaker.

The cinematography of the film is fair as it has a basic composition in most of the scenes and also has exceptional composition, blocking, and staging in selected scenes. In the whole, the film looks good visually; the problem I had with editing was the slow-paced nature of it, where things drag as the director focused more on the exposition of the characters and their issues as he builds up to the climax.

A still image from 'Cozen' short film
A still from Cozen

What I liked about this film is the sound design and the feel of the film as many local films more so short films tend to forgo the sonic side of the movie focusing only on dialogue and music with minimal sound effects. The film is bold enough to experiment with sound, and I feel this is worth acknowledging.

The actors did more for the film with their performances and portrayal of the characters, even though the story is lackluster. For the other side of the coin, these are the things that threw me off in the film; most of the things felt generic for instance the part where Raymond tripped on the bag and that’s how he found the loot. I had to pause the film and rewind that part just to have a “They didn’t just do this” moment. There are a couple of similar moments in the film where things don’t add up. For someone trying to establish himself in the industry Mark Okodoi has few attempts to show us his limits as a director in the coming years.

A still image from 'Cozen' short film
A still from Cozen

With all being said, I would recommend the film as it has an amazing cast and story according to “Kenyan standards”. It’s not that bad and I feel like this will be a marking scheme for the up-and-coming film director to gauge his growth as a filmmaker.

Rating: 3/5
Verdict: I would recommend the film as it has an amazing cast and story according to "Kenyan standards".

Film Details

Film poster for 'Cozen' (2024) short film

Title: Cozen

Director: Mark Okodoi

Genre: Short Drama Mystery Thriller

Duration: 14 mins

Language: EnglishSwahili

Full Details

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