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Lashes - short film review

Directed by Christine Sherwood

Starring Charlie Lewington, Jack Brett Anderson & Scarlett Byrne

Short film review by Monica Jowett

Fitting in with your friends isn’t always easy for a teenager and in short film Lashes from writer and director Christine Sherwood, teenager Ashley (Charlie Lewington) discovers that sometimes trying to fit in in a twisted adolescent world does not equate to the hurt it can cause, and begins to lash out at her friends.

Ashley is a teenager struggling to fit into a different social life she wants to be part of, with a boyfriend Jason (Jack Brett Anderson) who she doesn’t fully trust. She is ignored by her friend Sarah (Scarlett Byrne) when she needs her support and then her doubts about her boyfriend turn out to be justified. After being told of Jason’s cheating ways by Sarah, which Jason adamantly denies, she begins to lash out at the people closest to her. As she starts to realise the world she was trying to fit into by having the blonde hair extensions and false eyelashes, begins to crumble, Ashley begins to take control and fights back.

This short gives a glimpse of how life can be being a teenage girl. Ashley is constantly looking for approval from her friends and boyfriend, yet she hates to be used. Like any normal teenager, she wants acceptance, possibly going out of her comfort zone to get it. But Ashley herself is far from perfect, smoking cigarettes and stealing cocaine just some of her extra-curricular activities. Lewington gives a solid performance as Ashley, perfectly showing the mix of curiosity and self-discovery that play a huge part of growing up. The supporting cast do well to portray the superficial friends who only show interest in Ashley when it suits them.

The short film’s overall design set against the backdrop of East London has created Lashes as a film perfectly capturing a social system of teenagers. Ashley, with her simple shorts and hoody differs from Sarah, who lends out fancy tops to her friend. Even their houses, Ashley’s close and cluttered flat compared to Sarah’s spacious and tidy house, signal a different class between them, further demonstrating Ashley’s struggle to fit in. As she turns away from her disloyal friend and boyfriend, Ashley sheds the superficial friends and appearance, she looks younger yet it is easy to see the new independence and confidence she has found.

Lashes is a carefully written short film depicting the stormy seas of adolescence that leaves anyone who has been in a similar place totally uplifted.

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