Directed and Written by #EllaGreenwood
Short Film Review by Jack Bottomley
When we find ourselves in life altering circumstances, sometimes the simplest things can be the most helpful. Especially nowadays, there is more dialogue than ever about people suffering from genetic disorders or struggling with mental health issues, and this conversation often goes back to younger people, as the statistics are rather alarming for just how many young people in today’s world have such overpowering battles on their hands. In writer/director/producer #EllaGreenwood’s short film Faulty Roots, these massive issues are addressed in the most quiet and compassionate way possible...with normality and understanding. As simple a point as it may seem, sometimes just having a normal life with a re-assuring and relatable companion is the key to fighting what seem like overpowering struggles and odds.
The film focuses on young girl Lola (played by Greenwood), who suffers with depression and whose caring mother Susan (#SarahEastwood) wants to see her daughter helped by going and meeting an old accomplice Zack (#SaniThabo) who also has some scary problems to face in his life, in the shape of an incurable genetic disorder.
This short is a rather powerful little story, told with care and genuine affection for its characters. In a poignant closing stretch the film does not shy away from the frightening situations these kids face but it does suggest that life must continue and that true strength can be found in our connections with others. Whatever happens, be it a falling out, a complicated feeling or a medical condition, life really is too short to let it stop you from pursuing happiness, and this film shows how a simple bit of support among like-minded friends can make all the difference and, no matter what you are going through, can change your life.
Greenwood is good in the lead role capturing a relatably defiant side of teenage life but also showing a more open side and one that is rather afraid of what the future will hold and how sometimes to carry on getting out of bed in a morning. However, in Zack, she meets a much needed pillar of strength and Sani Thabo is lovable in the part. As Zack, he shows a kid in a bad situation but who relishes being able to share his days with someone and being able to enjoy the company of friendship. Charismatic and inspiring, Zack is in many ways the backbone to this story and comes to define where it leads. There is also a warm turn by Sarah Eastwood as a mum just trying to help where she can.
#GabyAmbler’s score gently accompanies the film, as it moves along at just the right place and it is hard not to feel a little touched by it. Admittedly the conditions themselves are not delved into massively but Greenwood instead opts to focus on the people over the diagnosis and it works in bringing forward a story of inspiration, friendship and much needed understanding and joy in this sometimes very alarming world. Some viewers will really be able to relate to Faulty Roots and it’s wonderful seeing stories like this being told.