Directed by Graeme Cassels
Starring Colin MacDougall and Eddy MacKenzie
Short film review by Chris Olson
With arguably the shortest run time of any short film UK Film Review have ever reviewed, Bruar from director Graeme Cassels packs enough entertaining punches into its one minute and twenty-nine seconds to be a shining example of expert filmmaking.
Beginning with an intensely slow zoom of a doorstop shaped like a frog, the narrative manages to wind into an ethical tale of humanity’s irksome habit of forgetting their manners and what could happen should inanimate objects rise to confront us. Bruar (voiced by Eddy MacKenzie), the aforementioned doorstop, leaves little distance between himself and Dave (Colin MacDougall), the slothenly owner of the flat, as he formally introduces himself to the bewildered human, and then animatedly tells Dave off for forgetting to thank Bruar for holding the door open.
Cassels utilises a wealth of framing techniques to make his short engaging throughout, whilst keeping a fluid sense of abstract comedy. Zooming in on Bruar’s intense face and then showing Dave’s casual nature with mid-range shots beautifully contrasts the two opposite characters, which is then reinforced with the script which clearly places Bruar in the driver’s seat.
MacKenzie delivers a formidable presence as Bruar, a frog with a lot of attitude (sort of like Kermit mixed with Miss Piggy at the same time). His eloquent lines of intense observation and comedic placement on screen (such as pointing a finger right into Dave’s face) are both powerful and very funny. Cassels has a lot of fun displaying Bruar in a range of deeply emotive positions and situations. MacDougall is pretty much, ironically, a prop in this short film - it would have been nice to see more interaction from both sides, give Dave’s perspective on all of this. Like the proof of many good short films, though, Bruar leaves us desperately wanting more.
Special mention must be given to the hauntingly arresting score by Kristopher Muir. Perfectly adding tension to the small scenes without feeling cumbersome, the original music adds weight and depth to Bruar’s character and the possible threat he poses. It also seems overtly melodramatic, which is in large part the movie’s appeal.
A clever and entertaining example of how short filmmaking needn’t be complicated. Bruar is devilishly funny and beautifully simple, allowing a fantastic character a short burst on screen before tearing at the seams of human apathy and then disappearing again - simply brilliant.
You can watch the whole movie of Bruar below!