Mammoth: Primal Thirst short film review

★★★

Directed by: #MattCheck

Written by: Matt Check

Film Review by: Bruna Foletto Lucas



Born from Matt Check’s imagination after a difficult incident, Mammoth is a sunflower that in the short Mammoth: Primal Thirst roams in the desert to quench his thirst and keep alive.


The short starts with a bleak song as Mammoth walks through the desert showered by the scorching sun. We see Mammoth walking and falling as the soundtrack composed of strings enforces the feeling of hopelessness. Soon Mammoth finds a watering can and crawls to it with the aim of finding water and, moreover, life. The search, however, is futile and the hopelessness soon turns to rage, which, then, turns to resourcefulness. The song suddenly changes its tune to a more upbeat rhythm, and soon Mammoth takes action into his own hands (or leaves) and the weather seems to change in his favour. But things do not go as planned and the song slows down and taps into hopelessness again as the tumbleweeds are pushed by the desert air and Mammoth, once again, falls down in despair. The soundtrack seems to drive us, and Mammoth, through his journey – through his many ups and downs, through moments of happiness and moments filled with longing and hopelessness. Mammoth’s hope of getting water or his vision of a love interest disintegrate in front of him as he is about to conquer them, but the 3-minute short leaves us with a positive feeling as things start to look up for Mammoth when he least expects it.



"Mammoth: Primal Thirst" looks like a simple endeavour at first, but if we look further we can see many layers to this project. As mentioned before, born in a moment of sadness, Mammoth allows the artist to go through a process of catharsis, to use this character as a metaphor for the pain of the loss of a loved one, and for hope of bright things ahead. Matt Check explains that Mammoth is in fact real, of course, not a walking flower, but a real sunflower that presented Check with a choice – whether to continue or to stop, and Check chose the former. The flower, then, symbolising hope not only for the viewers of the short movie, but also for Check as well, and Mammoth’s “primal thirst” means thirst for life itself.