In this first episode of the steampunk fantasy series Riese, the titular character is seen to run through the woods, fights off several pursuers, have a flashback, and arrive at a small town.
The first episode is rather short, being about 7 minutes in length (the remaining two are for the credits), but nonetheless establishes that Riese is an intriguing character. There is very little dialogue in this episode, so it is hard to say where the story is going, but the director and cast do a good job of leaving the watcher with more questions than answers, ensuring that the viewer will want to tune back in when episode two goes live.
Christine Chatelain plays the Riese character well, putting a lot of emotion into her characters face to make up for the lack of dialogue. The three pursuing characters, though only glimpsed, showcase the fact that this is neither a traditional fantasy, nor simply a Victorian steampunk tale.
The setting is well-chosen, showing a big open forest of older trees and the few panoramic shots give the viewer a real sense that Riese is alone in the wilderness.
Though the director relies heavily in the “shaky-cam” to depict the fight scene, there is still enough ability to see and understand what is going on, and all in all the scene well-directed. The cuts and moves between scenes are good, though there is perhaps a bit too much running. We have established that Riese is on the run, and I would have preferred less depiction of the actual action once the sense of it was made plain.
All in all, I’m looking forward to more episodes (preferably with more dialogue) of this unusual web series.