Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Directed by: #NicholasGoulden
Written by: Nicholas Goulden and #AngelaGodfrey
With a devastatingly moving story, high production values, and a glorious message of compassion, Nicholas Goulden's #shortfilm Forget Me Not is a moving and somewhat magical journey of connection in the modern age.
Set under a flyover in London, we see a homeless man (James Cosmo) experiencing the tragically familiar invisibility that so many vulnerable people do on urban streets. The only breaks in his bleak solitude come from a friendly man (John Heffernan) who buys him a hot drink most days, and a girl (Ruby Royle) who pesters him with her teddy bear. The lives of these characters and the compassion that binds them is about to culminate in a magical display of tender humanity.
Keeping the events localised within the fairly grim and unrelentingly busy London flyover was a beautiful way to tell this story. The audience never loses connection with each character which makes the emotional impact of what follows far more potent. The movie is emboldened by a simply divine score by composer Matthew Slater that jangles the viewer's core like a cup full of loose change.
The editing from Marco Ruffatti keeps the short film measured and grounded.
Slow, sumptuous pacing provides a consuming effect for the audience who suspect, and immerse themselves within, a foreboding tale. There was the potential risk of steamrolling into the crux of the story which would have robbed the characters of much needed development and left the piece feeling like a Christmas charity appeal. Instead, the themes and poignancy are delicately balanced with well crafted storytelling and strong performances.
Cosmo provides the movie's strongest scenes. A thundering and savage outburst in one sequence is enough to strong-arm even the hardiest of audience members into the story. By film's end few viewers will not have warmed to this social outcast. Heffernan is also captivating. His turn as the busy but caring professional goes much deeper as the plot develops and his performance is all the more impressive retrospectively.
Where Forget Me Not is particularly unrivalled is it's tone. Goulden captures something hopeful and optimistic where most filmmakers would have assembled their weapons of bleakness even if it was done unknowingly so. The short is peppered with delightful moments that subtly charm and disarm, such as Cosmo biting into the head of a santa cookie or a small boy dressed as an elf. These tiny but glaring moments shine amidst a landscape that could be presumed as hostile or at the very least dreary and turn the atmosphere into something life affirming. By tying in so many threads around life, death, compassion, love, humanity and finding peace, an affecting and unbreakable tapestry is created that will envelop those who are willing to hear the message.
Watch the official Movie Trailer below.
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