Directed by Peter Lee Scott Starring Harry Jarvis, Makir Ahmed, George Somner Short Film Review by Evie Brudenall
We are currently in the midst of a cinematic climate that predominantly portrays and celebrates a certain type of individual; the straight white male. Although there has been an improvement in terms of visibility over the years, people are rightfully crying out for more diversity in the films we watch, believing cinema holds a responsibility to reflect and mirror society and the contemporary times in which we live. If Hollywood won’t meet our demands – then Peter Lee Scott’s short film Colours will.
Best friends Adam (Harry Jarvis) and Tom (Makir Ahmed) both play for the same football team, with their mutual friend Mike (George Somner) reigning over the team with his abrasive and unpredictable ways. When Adam and Mike discover that Tom is gay, Mike renders Tom an outcast and Adam faces a decision; follow Mike’s twisted ideologies or become a social outcast himself.
Scott’s emotionally wrought and masterfully tense piece is enhanced exponentially by the stellar performances, with particular praise falling to George Somner as Mike. Despite the unflinching and homophobic epithets that pepper Somner’s dialogue, he delivers them with fierce commitment and makes his abusive tirades believable, and unfortunately commonplace. Meanwhile Jarvis is extremely effective at portraying Adam’s internal conflict; although his character is frustrating as he fails to confront Mike’s antagonism and defend his friend, we understand his reluctance. Sometimes the fear of not belonging and rejection is stronger than the pull to fulfil your moral duty.
Colours resolutely highlights the ever present prejudice and homophobia that permeates society, and demonstrates that even the youth of today who are supposed to be the generation of acceptance can prove to be just as intolerable. It also attempts to make an interesting commentary on the dynamic between oppressor and the oppressed; while Tom is understandably apprehensive to reveal his sexuality to his friends, he is in fact more secure with himself than Mike or any of his detractors. The ease at which Mike is shaken by the upset of his ideal social group is alarming, and Colours does an incredible job at spotlighting the absurdity.
The creative decision to have the conflict take place against the backdrop of football was a stroke of genius on Lee’s part. The sport of football and those who engage in it are typically considered to be your archetypal macho man, and the tribal mentality it cultivates is a perfect parallel to the atmosphere and warped mindset that Mike senselessly creates. Mike is also given a shiver-inducing audible motif as his blatant acts of bullying and intimidation are accompanied by shrill non-diegetic music that is instrumental in generating palpable tension and the possibility of real danger.
An immersive but albeit sometimes hard-to-watch drama, Colours explores the story of discovered sexuality and subsequent homophobia with the utmost respect and determined honesty. But the message here is strong – hope always triumphs over fear.
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