Bearing follows skaters as they navigate young adulthood.
Firstly, right out the gate this is clearly a very amateurish effort by all involved. From the poorly paced opening, with scenes that could be trimmed a huge amount, to the below average script and acting. I’m not so sure what exactly the point of Bearing is; if there was a message it wasn’t very clear. In fact, when the film came to a close I just felt… empty, devoid of any feeling.
The cast and crew are transparently passionate, as least it comes across that way from time to time. Some scenes are better than others, and perhaps with a more refined script, it could seem more realistic. There’s potential, there usually is with short films. But, for the whole film to be so uninviting and bland makes it quite the challenge to get through — I found myself distracted by external goings-on countless times, and it’s only 15 minutes in length. But to shine a light on a positive; the skate scenes were fairly well chopped together. Some more tweaks could have been made to make it smoother, like cutting clips with better awareness for transitions. As it stands, it takes up over 2 minutes of the runtime which is quite drastic for a short film. Every second is vital when working within these restraints, so it’s wise not to throw any time away that could otherwise be used for something more important.
Touching on the acting; it’s all very simple and wooden. The narrow writing makes for some uncomfortable scenes, especially in how the cast deliver their lines. Some of the vocabulary used is so cringeworthy I felt my teeth grinding to the gum. I appreciate that Bearing is a depiction of teenagers in England, and the way the actors talk is somewhat authentic, it just seems obtusely forced. Furthermore, the story is practically non-existent. There’s some themes placed within the script but none of it is explored beyond a surface level. To add, the film actually takes an upturn in the final few scenes and the pacing gets ahead of itself, leaving the viewer confused as to what the purpose is.
All in all, Reinisch and Hogan’s Bearing is hard to bare. It’s a slog, filled with major room for improvement. I think I understand what they were aiming for, but they couldn’t stick the landing. For that reason, I recommend watching Jonah Hill’s Mid90s, which I believe tackles this idea a lot better.