Directed by: #NeoBryce
Written by: #NeoBryce
Short Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
"But if everything were easy, and you never experience pain, everything in your life, everything that matters to you, they won't matter as much anymore.
Starring, written and directed by Filipino filmmaker Neo Bryce Largo through his own Big Twist Productions, A Short Film, also known as A short film about growing up, or simply UNTITLED SHORT FILM, is a surreal portrayal of battling ones insecurities and trying to accept who you are in order to get past them, as well as the pains of growing up and the dreams we sacrifice as we get older.
Our main character, here simply referred to as The Boy, is a young man at a crossroads who, when attempting to tender his resignation with his employer in order to pursue a career as a writer, instead finds himself contemplating their offer of a promotion. Upon accepting, he begins to feel that his life is slipping away from him, losing time and not knowing where he is from one moment to the next, questioning his decision not to follow his dream more and more, until all kinds of hidden anxieties and internal torment begins to come to the surface.
The film offers some truly unique visual manifestations of the kinds of emotional turmoil that The Boy (and in fact all of us at some point in our lives) is struggling with; pain, fear, anxiety, loneliness to name but a few. A scene where ex-lovers stab The Boy (in teddy bear form), all the while declaring their love for him are sinister and weird for sure (okay, maybe we can’t all relate to that), but it somehow manages to convey how heartache can feel better than words possibly ever could. Another where The Boy lies bloodied in pain while others film him on their phones as he pleads for their help, simplifies the idea of them seeing him but not being able to see his pain.
While there are some very interesting, creative and impressively shot ideas on display here, the overall message does get lost somewhat by some of these sequences sadly, with the visuals sometimes overpowering the subtext. However, the conclusion where The Boy confronts his issues face to face (literally as they are manifested here as a version of himself), does provide a touching and heartfelt message about the importance of facing your demons and not trying to hide or suppress them, but instead accepting them as part of yourself and trying to grow.
Bryce’s films such as this one and St. Monica’s, have a certain knack of tackling complex but important subjects, and laying them out in such a way that offers a different perspective and food for thought. While the underlying message does fade into the background at times here, the film offers plenty of room for interpretation, such is the gift of Bryce as a talented filmmaker and storyteller for the future.