My Review of ‘Polly’ (2017)

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Debbi

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This short movie, the directorial debut of Cassiah Joski-Jethi, is a unique combination of psychological thriller and dystopian coming-of-age story.

The title character and her peers undergo a daily ritual of wearing the proper attire which mimics the dolls they carry. Polly’s appearance is monitored and cultivated under her mother’s watchful eye.

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Harriet Rees as Polly
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Sally Davey as Clarice

She attends an all-girls school of students in pink and white uniforms, where the curriculum seems to focus on how to maintain a household and prepare for marriage and imposing the values they’ve learned upon their own daughters.

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Annabel Pemberton as Miss Marton

It’s tempting to see the film as a cross between The Stepford Wives and Rebel Without a Cause (with a female rebel wielding scissors).

Polly chafes at the restraints, a feeling shown in the smallest ways, at first. However, Polly eventually lashes out in a manner that raises the stakes and heightens the suspense.

All this within a 13-minute film that has the bare minimum of dialogue. Polly is a study in how great imagery can make a movie. It’s also an intriguing film that pairs feminism with adolescent angst and raises many questions about how far women have really come.

It’s worth noting that the movie had an all-female cast and crew and has received accolades at several film festivals.

Check out the film’s website and trailer! 🙂

Trailer for POLLY — a short film by Cassiah Joski-Jethi from Cassiah Joski-Jethi on Vimeo.

I found the ambiguous ending thought-provoking, but it may not be for everyone. Even so, the visual spendor more than makes up for it!


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This entry was posted in Movie Reviews, Short Film and tagged Movie Review, Short Film, Women in Film. Bookmark the permalink.

New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website:

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