Orange Temptation short film review

★★

Directed by: #DanielCameron

Written by: #DanielCameron

Starring: #DanielCameron

Film review by: William Hemingway



Orange Temptation film poster

Taking this film in isolation and going into it blind, Orange Temptation comes across as a bit of an oddity. In a style that can only really be described as French Arthouse, given that the story is told entirely through the medium of mime and the film ends with the ‘Fin’ title card, we are left to our own devices to try and decipher just what on Earth is going on.

With a running time of just under three minutes, and with no dialogue, there’s not an awful lot to hold onto. Our unnamed protagonist sits down to a breakfast of unmarked cereal and orange juice, but somehow, for some reason, he can’t quite bring himself to quench his thirst with that gloriously refreshing vitamin filled glass of citrus burst. Instead he leaves it undrunk on the kitchen table and heads out into the big, wide world with who knows what on his mind.

Then things take a sinister turn when the spurned OJ (maybe there’s a pun in there somewhere!?) begins to stalk him and randomly appears in places that any normal glass of orange juice would never think to venture. Not only that but it’s multiplying and even wearing disguises (though never a pair of too small, black leather gloves) – will this nightmare never end? But then it does, all too quickly, leaving us with plenty of questions and no real answers. Only once the credits roll do we find out that our protagonist is tantalisingly called ‘Quarantiner’, and we just have to conclude that the poor lad is going out of his mind.

This one man show; written, directed by and starring Daniel Cameron (I’m guessing he did the editing, recording and sound recording too) is a jolly little jaunt into the mind of someone with too much time on their hands. It shows a good understanding of story progression, in as far as it goes, and there is a clear distinction between life indoors and life outside, helped by the sounds of the birds and the traffic in the background. There is obvious humour on display, as well as threat, and the last shot does leave us thinking about what’s going to happen next. However, we never really get an insight into what’s actually going on in Daniel’s head and he confounds us with a story that has no real motivation behind it. Why can’t he drink the orange juice? What does he think will happen if he does? Why is the orange juice so intent on being drunk? There needs to be a greater clarity and drive for the viewer to become invested in the Quarantiner’s story and sadly we just don’t get it within these three minutes.

But then, after a little bit of research, we find that there’s more to this than meets the eye. It seems that Orange Temptation is actually a sequel to the early quarantine drama, Quarantining Alone. Here, the protagonist cycles through endless days of breakfast (over 16 million years worth, no really), pouring his cereal, but never touching his orange juice. This film itself has issues with pace, progression and continuity but it does provide one thing for the viewer that is so badly needed in its successor – context. We can now look at Orange Temptation as more of an Empire Strikes Back than a stand alone Star Wars. It relies very heavily on knowledge from the first movie to help the viewer through the actions on screen and gives us the hope of a resolution in a third instalment.

It would be a shame not to see another episode in this series and have the whole story rounded out. Cameron has shown promise with his ideas and has done well to create this work on his own. There’s not quite enough to hold onto yet, in terms of character and motivation, but everything is certainly going in the right direction. Just remember folks, context is key.