Directed by: #BarbaraSpevack
Written by: Barbara Spevack
Starring: Barbara Spevack
Trauma, trauma we all have trauma, and the most important thing is that we deal with it at the right time, in the right way, i.e. when it happens and with a licensed mental professional. Not by eating 40 chicken nuggets on a children’s swing set alone in Glasgow.
This is something that Norma (played by Barbara Spevack) has not employed in her life, for her childhood issues that she developed with her overbearing mother, still haunt her into adulthood.
Norma decides that she can work through these problems by playing with a bigger doll, who is a unseen child, someone she can try to have all the fun with that she was denied during her childhood years, and as unhealthy as this seems it get worse as her mental state deteriorates as she is tormented by her mother inside her head.
Think Psycho but without all the stuffed birds and motel paperwork that was involved.
Shot from the point of view of the child, we are thrown head first into Norma’s state of mind. We feel uneasy, unnerved, intimidated even, as she looms over us with a maniacal enthusiasm, trying to force a rather awkward situation into being more fun. You can’t force fun Norma, that’s why parades at Disneyland are the devil's work.
The character herself still appears childlike, the costume choice for this short makes her appear as if she never really grew up, there is an adult present before us, but she still has an infant like quality to her appearance, and to couple this, her mannerisms are the same, it’s the subtle touches that allow us to conclude that her traumas from childhood may have trapped her in infancy.
Barbara Spevack, who not only wrote, directed and produced this #shortfilm also, as I said earlier, does the acting thing as well. In fact, she is the only person on screen for the entire of this movie. Now, we could decide that maybe Barbara is a bit of a control freak who just has to do everything herself in order to achieve a standard she has set, or we can throw caution to the wind and say....quadruple threat!
And so loyal readers of #UKFilmReview, we both know I love them triple threats, but to have a quad is a whole new game. Spevack really shines, proving that she has a great knowledge of #filmmaking both on and off the camera, this short is a perfect example of her skill set and clear drive and hard work ethic. Hats off to you Babs.
Although the content of this short movie is disturbing, we cannot overlook the skill and effort that has gone into every aspect, be it from the clever use of camera angles, to the smart script that gives a little but then leaves a lot. Bigger Dolls leaves the viewer asking for more answers, an important achievement when making a short piece of film.
Although I found some of the black and white shots a little tacky and some of the acting a touch hammy, it didn’t take away from the feel and projection Bigger Dolls is trying to create. For those who have an interest in the human mind and psychology this is a must watch, but only if you have tackled your childhood traumas first...see you on the swing set guys.