Night Ride (Nattrikken) – Short Film Review

Nattrikken, translated to Night Ride in English, invites us to sit on a tram during a cold winter’s night. Ebba is driving it, even though she’s not meant to, and witnesses something uncomfortable which could become violent.

This short film starts as a comedy, easing us into an evening that any audience member could have if they really wanted to. It’s a clever choice by writer and director Eirik Tveiten, who makes us comfortable on this journey, when really that isn’t the point of this story at all. When things start to go wrong, we’re left wondering what we’d do in the same situation. Every day on public transport, these events occur, yet the glow of the fresh snow and twinkling of the Christmas lights suggest otherwise.

Our unlikely tram driver is Ebba, played wonderfully by Sigrid Husjord. We see every emotion on her face, the calculations she’s doing to figure out if each move is the right choice. We understand her, want her to do more to help, but through her also realise that we might not always have the courage to do so. Her character is put in a difficult situation, with Eirik’s writing being honest to each person watching it, and never going above what the everyday hero might do which makes it so real to life.

I think public transport is an odd place. We’re all connected, going to the same places each day, but often never making eye contact. We keep ourselves to ourselves, watching others live their lives, and sitting quietly if we see something go wrong. It’s short films like this that start the conversation we’ve not wanted to have on how to act when we experience trouble on our commutes. It’s not an easy conversation, and the answer often poses more questions, but I hope viewers take away some courage from watching like I have.

Shortlisted for the 95th Academy Awards, the message this short film brings to viewers is one we can all relate to. Whether we have been a witness or victim, it’s hard to know the right choices to make in these circumstances, but Nattrikken achieves what we hope can come out of a bad moment and I’m glad it is getting the recognition it deserves.

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