Written & Directed by Grace June
Starring Olivia Spencer and Emma Stirling
Short Film Review by Michael Fiott
Grace June directs and writes a charming comedy which deals with many issues that young people face in the modern era, including relationships and loose bowels. Cassie Rose is a young woman, who after needing to desperately use a local lavatory, overhears a rather ridiculous problem involving a love triangle and subsequently puts herself in a very awkward situation.
Whilst I would find it hard for anybody to consider short film Flushed as sophisticated fine art given its subject matter, it in no way pretends to be, which is evident from the adolescent and silly tone, but this is in no way negative, with its brilliantly witty dialogue and great performance by Olivia Spencer as the young Cassie.
It’s hard not to be impressed by this film's ability to communicate so much in only one location, June manages to accomplish this with her use of graphics that appear throughout, for instance, instead of Cassie taking a phone call to a friend whilst on the toilet, we are shown her texting her friends on the screen, take pictures of herself and update her Facebook status all without Spencer saying a single word of dialogue. This is what I believe truly highlights Spencer’s performance, she has only facial expressions to work with in the 4 minute run time. We see her frustrated, worried, laughing and even sarcastically playing to the boyfriend issues of a rather narcissistic girl outside her cubicle and she does so with ease.
Another thing to appreciate is how difficult it must have been for the crew to film in such a tight space and to achieve it all with 2 simple shots, beginning with a wide shot showing Cassie enter the toilet and transitioning into one long take with no cuts at all whilst she is in the cubicle. A filming technique like this is never black and white to pull off, as one simple mistake puts you right back at the start, when executed correctly it almost always creates the desired effect.
Another notable feature is the short's lack of music. Many people creating this would have been tempted to include at least some kind of comedic music, but June decides on a more subtle approach letting the visuals and dialogue speak for themselves, this allows the audience to pick up on the minor subtleties without having a jovial tune to be their queue for laughter.
Flushed is a film that many young people will find as a great quick fix of entertainment and also be able to laugh at with some element of morbid relatability, a great effort from everybody involved.