Written By: #LucyHunt
Short Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
After a night of partying, Milo (Burns) and Jamie (Hunt), mere strangers to one another, return to the former’s apartment now fully engulfed in the throes of passion, with even the cacophonous backdrop of loud sirens in the distance doing little to deter them. At first glance, it looks like there might be some type of pacey thriller or sexual drama afoot. But 1NS’ opening is pure smoke and mirrors; what follows instead is something quite beautiful as these two temporary lovers find themselves forced to shelter together through a government lockdown, creating a spark of hope for a real connection.
After a somewhat hot and heavy opening, the film then dispenses almost completely with showing us the night of, instead dropping us straight into the much more intriguing aftermath. It never becomes apparent to us the exact nature of their government-imposed lockdown other than a throwaway line about a “terror threat”, but while that of course might always be there lurking in the back of some over-analytical minds, watching this relationship blossom between Milo and Jamie soon becomes the only thing we care about.
Which really speaks volumes about the impressive piece of writing Hunt has produced here. Having its characters confined to such close quarters acts as a small accelerant for their courtship and thus gives their relationship its chance to explore its full potential, which could so easily have been squandered otherwise. It is an elegantly simple method that manages to take you on the kind of journey that normally would play out over a feature length runtime in just under ten minutes.
But it’s the performances of the films leading pair that really brings this unorthodox love story to life. From the awkward next morning back and forth complete with all the go-to small talk clichés whilst also struggling to remember names, to the joy of watching the fire between them start to burn brighter and brighter, right the way through to the very bittersweet goodbye, our two leads really manage to hit the ground running and don’t look back. The chemistry between Burns and Hunt seems effortless and authentic, a feeling that permeates throughout the piece and leaves us with the desire to cheer them on. What rounds all this off is the carefully executed close framing along with a beautiful warming visual tone which allows the film to feel all the more intimate without ever worrying about the claustrophobia of the shelter setting being an issue.
1NS is a unique, charming and well-crafted romantic tale that might end a little too quickly but definitely touches upon all the right notes along the way, not to mention your heart.