QUICK REVIEW – When She Runs – Directed by Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck



Directed by Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Quick Review by Devin Negrete

In pursuit of becoming the best she can at her god given gift, runner Kristen has to sacrifice everything weighing her down, from unhealthy food to normal relationships. Working hard everyday, through pain and loneliness with a destination on the map that failing to reach is simply not an option. The kind of crazy ambition you need to push yourself to absolute limits of what your mind and body are capable of.

Forgoing traditional sports film fairs of motivation speeches and side stories that threaten to derail the main characters ultimate goal, When she runs is a clean, beautiful, minimalist take on the mindless and almost senseless ambition of young woman trying to push herself to get a spot on the USA Olympic running team.

Opening the film with a long shot of Kristen sprinting on a treadmill in a very dark small room, the directors choose to stay on her for an extended period of time, just running. Her bright red shirt and black pants, the bold USA right in front, never shying away from her ultimate goal. We stay on her throughout the film in a series of long shots detailing her daily life and repetitive torture she endures like a champion. The tiredness is very apparent in her eyes but she never once seems to even think about giving up. Every single day, running, eating nothing, running more, focusing on one thing, trying to erase anything that could possible derail the motivation.

From the get, its impossible not be drawn to this character, someone so set on achieving what they know they can. Little by little we discover more about the mysterious runner and the things she has to give up, but we never learn more than we should. The backstories exist as a fleeting reminder of the other life she also one day has to return to, and we see it with the same sort of “pushed out of the way” adherence that she lives

The directors also are not afraid of showing the kind of selfishness if takes to put yourself in contention, even in the heated moments of near argument, Kristin is well aware of the her mental state, even stating that she simply “cant care right now”.

One of the most interesting side stories is her employment at a snow cone shop that we repeatedly return to, watching her work, fill out orders and train new employees. The minimal direction and short running pair perfectly as we come to the conclusion of the film and finally see everything she has worked for paying off. Ending right at the moment we know things are possible. To me, this film made me want to work harder, to get off my ass and put everything into second gear and just push myself to get to the next level.

Kirstin Anderson, Ivan Gehring, Jonah Graham

Directed by Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck




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