★★★★★ Directed by: Michael Beddoes Starring: Lydia King, Richard Soames Short Film Review by: Darren Tilby
Reaching the age of 30 is considered a milestone of adulthood and can be daunting at the best of times: throw in the fact most people have a socially pre-conceived notion of where in life they should be or a self-imposed idea of what they should have achieved, and it can be downright torturous.
This is where Lydia King’s character (known only as ‘She’) comes in: just turned 30, single, and full of self-pity and regret. Fortunately, ‘She’, has ‘He’: a housemate and close friend played to sublime perfection by the awkward, charismatic charm of Richard Soames.
Bungee – a tender and affectionate tale of love and friendship which tugs on the heart-strings – details Soames’, ‘Hes’’ attempts at helping his friend tick activities off her bucket list: swim with dolphins, marry Daniel Craig, see the northern lights, all of these and more are ‘ticked off’ in ways which are as funny as they are adorable.
King and Soames – who also wrote and co-produced the film – have created a script and characters that, not only complement them as performers, but which are funny and good-natured and thoroughly likeable, but perhaps more importantly, wholly relatable: we’ve all known someone, or perhaps even been the person, who has had a mini-crisis after evaluating one’s life.
The camerawork on display in short film Bungee is more than proficient; working beautifully with the soundtrack and screenplay to create the warmth and humour the film exudes by the bucket-load and so effortlessly. And whilst the camera quality or sharpness isn’t quite on par with other productions, this oddly works in its favour; entwining the film’s amiable nature with a down-to-earth quality; preventing sections of the film feeling mawkish.
The dialogue is adroitly written by King and Soames, and is snappy and succinct and delivered with impeccable comic timing: more importantly, it feels organic and heartfelt.
The product of humble beginnings – having been funded on Kickstarter and shot on location in Ealing, London – Bungee is the kind of film which begs stark cross-examination of the inner workings of Hollywood and its custom of throwing massive amounts of money at productions to solve problems.
Lydia King and Richard Soames are a writing force to be reckoned with and Michael Beddoes’ direction, Riccardo Servini’s editing, and Richard Osborne’s cinematography is nothing short of exquisite.
The amalgamation of everything working perfectly, and in harmony with one another results in a production that’s practically flawless and terribly easy to fall in love with; a film which really is greater than the sum of all its parts and had me smiling from beginning to end.