Full-bodied, good head, sharp and refreshing and I’ve forgotten what I’m supposed to be reviewing…
A simple premise: a man enjoys a pint at his local pub, whilst all around him little dramas, comedies, and love stories play out. At just over 3 minutes long, A Day in the Life in a Pint is the perfect length: any shorter and it would have felt rushed, any longer, and it would have become monotonous.
Johnny Elliot stars a said man, and whilst it’s hardly a demanding role, to his credit, he does look like he’s enjoying his pint! So much so in fact, he’s quite unaware of what’s going on around him: Jenny Dixon’s attacked by a bee, Sean Flanagan and Gill Keogh are reunited lovers, and, Robbie Walsh is a very efficient phone thief: there’s a man who loses his shoe, an altercation between two men, and a very drunk football fan who thinks a wall is a urinal! All are delightful and almost theatrically, performed.
The cinematography and soundtrack are simple but incredibly effective: the cinematography gives the short film a sort of cafe culture voyeurism vibe, whilst the rather jolly rolling soundtrack lends a merry, slapstick quality; keeping the mood light.
The camera sits totally stationary, peering out of a window over the table that seats our lucky pint drinker; doing no more than switching focus between the foreground (the inside and our pint) and background (the events going on outside).
The true genius of the #cinematography and direction on display here can only be fully appreciated once you realise the entire film basically serves as a three-minute unbroken take, with everything that’s going on in the foreground and background – which by the way, are linked (every time the man has a sip from his drink; another act appears behind him) – this must have taken some insanely good choreography, a hell of a lot of takes, or some utterly ridiculous editing skills. Either way, well done!
A Day in the Life of a Pint plays like a #silentmovie or theatrical production in that it relies completely on exaggerated movements to draw our attention and tell its story; totally ditching dialogue of any kind. It isn’t something I’ve seen a film do (or at least do well) for a long time, and it’s a most welcome return for that more classical slapstick feel; clearly taking inspiration from great silent film artists like Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. This is a marvelous little film, the sort of film short movies should aspire to: its simplicity is its strength, and it embraces its ‘shortcomings’ and its genre and turns them to advantages; creating something which would never work in any other format.
A throwback to the golden age of silent cinema and slapstick (you know, when #slapstick was funny), A Day in the Life of a Pint has completely won me over.