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REVIEW BY STAR DUST FILMS & SCREENPLAYS FESTIVAL

It has been close to two years since the pandemic had hit the pause button on our lives. With the numbers of active cases and deaths due to the virus rising again with every new variant, we are stuck with the same fears again of lockdowns and missing out on all

the temptations of the outside world. With the development and manufacture of different vaccines around the world, people are trying to get back to their normal lives again. However, there are numerous people who are skeptical about taking the vaccine. Since August of this year, multiple cities like New York have announced mandates that make proof of vaccination essential for people to attend indoor venues and events. Since then, there have been protests by these skeptics against the mandates and the aggressive propaganda surrounding the vaccine.

The short film "Take the Vax" revolves around one such person, Mark. As he goes about his daily chores and activities, he sees the vaccine propaganda all around him and tries to run away from it as much as he can, but the looming figure of the vaccine shot follows him everywhere, and people seem to ostracize him on the streets. As he slowly runs out of basic resources and cannot fetch them himself, he realizes that he has no other choice but to take the vax.

At 15 minutes and 30 seconds "Take the Vax" does a great job of portraying the current reality of skepticism around the vaccine shots, and how the aggressive propaganda is necessary to hound the skeptics to take the shot. Directed by Edsta, the film's opening shot of news announcements is clearly indicative of the subject it deals with. The main characters of Mark and 'the Vax' are played by Fesal Jaber and Elijah Jaber. The former does an excellent job of portraying a skeptic and how he goes from being a vaccine skeptic to a vaccinated person and gets back to his normal life, without putting anyone else in danger. The sound design and cinematography of the film add to the terror Mark feels whenever he spots the Vax around him.

Take the Vax is an extremely important film in the current scenario. As the current new cases of the US reach a weekly average of 149,000 and the death toll almost reaching 673,000, the mandates shown a bit exaggeratedly in this film were placed to persuade skeptic people to get vaccinated. As we see Mark walk with 'the Vax' normally, in the end, Edsta gives a powerful message of the essentiality of getting the shot for everyone.

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