Written and Directed by: DejFM
Starring: Geoffrey Maccarthy, Rasak Obanigba and David Omordia
The latest offering from short film director DejFM provides a real taste of comedic talent. Dej, whose recent works include the excellent contemporary drama Coincide and the solidly creepy Knock a Door Run, has returned to tackle the comedy genre in short form. Yet again, he proves himself to be an up and coming director to watch, with the writing ability to match.
The film’s tag line, “An ordinary house party”, may suggest that there is some mysterious and particularly strange underpinning to a modern film audience so used to the somewhat sarcastic and euphemistic style of classic movie tag lines. However, here it couldn’t be more forthright; the film’s simple setup is just an ordinary house party. Set both during and after the party, Flavours uses this clear and familiar idea to tell jokes and explore group dynamics. It is a flavour of modern culture that is both smart and joyfully crude.
A smart decision is made right from the off with the first half of the film containing no dialogue. Instead, the scenes set during the party only have the soundtrack for audio, leaving the visuals to take the atmosphere this creates and tell a story with it. Some solid performances – in particular the lead Geoffrey Maccarthy – make sure this works. Both the actors and camera manage to convey story and humour effectively, and with some clever editing turn the lack of dialogue from hinderance to advantage. This allows the film to feel somewhat more naturalistic, placing you inside the house party, unable to hear individual conversation and instead forcing you to piece together by judging reactions and body language. It’s clever stuff.
The second half of the film plays in completely the opposite way with one continuous steady shot capturing rapid-fire dialogue. It is a bold move to completely switch up the film, but it pays off and manages to up the comedy by introducing a new style with its colloquial and quick-witted dialogue. The conversation zips from one character to another, with excellent chemistry uniting the three young performers. It manages to feel both natural and well-crafted.
Overall, the film plays as one big joke, with the final pay-off effectively being the punchline. This is hard to pull off, akin to creating a tense build up to a great scare. Despite this, the film manages to pull this off by creating a solid rhythm of small jokes within the reaction shots of the first half and dialogue of the second. Short, but effective, Flavours delivers on its comedic premise in an original and entertaining way.