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Leonidas and the Fish Short film review


Film review by: Brian Penn

Leonidas and the Fish (2021)

In this angst ridden, battle torn world we yearn for simplicity and look for the goodness that lurks deep within us. This delightful short film by Alexander Machlouzarides-Shalit is no game changer, but conveys a simple message of the human spirit and how an ordinary gesture can mean so very much. The action takes place on a beach in Cyprus as the new day slowly begins to dawn across a spectacular landscape.

Leonidas (Nikitas Kozlov) grabs his fishing rod and quietly creeps away from his home eager to make the most of early morning tides. His mother (Melissa George) catches him and bemoans his obsession with fishing; she wants him to help around the home. Leonidas shrugs off his mother’s pleas for assistance and says he will do his chores later. He reaches the beach and pitches up a monster fishing rod hoping it will catch him a similarly sized fish. A group of young beachcombers show up and note the presence of this young kid with grown-up fishing equipment. Leonidas has a degree of success and tries to figure out how it might best please his mother. He remains determined and single minded; he negotiates a series of tiny battles that would ultimately bring its reward. His own perceptions of life change over the course of a day as he learns the importance of effort and application. Whilst everyone else around him enjoys a nonchalant existence he scurries to make every move count. The sun sets and his mother calls him her levendis; a handsome and gallant man.

It almost feels like a theme for Mother’s Day as the piece ends with a heart-warming embrace between mother and son. Moreover, the Cypriot tourist authorities will be grateful for a film that presents a visually stunning portrait and promotional vehicle for the island. However it packs more of an understated punch that will surprise many. It reminds us of our childhood when life was more straight forward, free of emotional frailty; a sweet and endearing testament to the naivety of youth.


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