Directed by: #AnnaMayers
This short film highlights the destructive impact lockdown can inflict on those currently struggling with their mental health. Cereal begins in the midst of lockdown, where the outbreak of coronavirus has forced people to return to their homes and learn to spend a great deal of time in their own company, allowing the mind to wander and the boredom to set in (heavily). Anna Mayers stars as the protagonist of this short as well as directing and writing the film as well. I suppose that’s the one thing you cannot fault with this lockdown is the motivation it has provided people, especially the younger generation to produce, create and express themselves in all kinds of innovative ways.
This film shows Anna as a finalist at University completing her assignments and working on her dissertation. Her main focus area is questioning ‘why do people kill people?’ an extremely complex subject which can never be solved with just one simple answer. This forces her mind to go to deep and dark places, becoming obsessed with the words on the page and delving into a disturbed place mentally. The isolation lockdown has caused only fuels her obscure thoughts. You can only commemorate the way in which Anna Mayers has taken on a heavy topic such as mental health solely. It’s a subject which we should speak on more and encourage those to reach out and talk to someone in order to gain help. However, at times the message was somewhat lost and it became difficult to see that the characters mind was beginning to deteriorate.
It would have been good to view more scenes which show the main character slowly becoming overly wrapped up in the idea of violence, murder and death. Of course it was clear that the character was alone throughout this short, and loneliness can produce sinister thoughts, however, there was not a significant moment within this film which made the audience feel as though the characters mental state should be questioned. It made the story hard to follow at points as you couldn’t see where the character was ultimately heading.
Nevertheless, the shots were beautifully taken and location wise (despite being in lockdown) they were very well thought out. Huge open spaces making the character feel and appear that much more alone. The transition between each shot could have been a bit smoother but despite this it was a very good effort. The way in which Anna took on an emotive theme such as mental health was great to see and it’s interesting to observe the way in which people interpret the mechanics of the mind. I think mental health needs to be highlighted more to audiences and Anna Mayers has been able to put her own stamp on this matter.