I also found the squeeze distracting. It has the appearance of an incorrect aspect ratio on a TV. I've included an attached still. The actors are stretched vertically so that they appear skinnier than they really are.
On the other hand, I appreciate how intentional you are about your filmmaking. I enjoy reading your thoughts about story and technique. It helps me to be more intentional with my own filmmaking.
Hopefully your willingness to dialogue with your viewers will also help you decide which techniques are working and which ones aren't.
If it were me, I'd have difficu