Directed by David Javid Zaidov
Starring Tim Bettsworth, Rod Glenn, Peter Prentice and Andrew Candish
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
Being cold sucks, we all know that, and I am one of those people who is always cold, but despite how much I think that I am freezing I can confidently say have I have never lost a part of my body due to declining temperatures. And while I thank the climate I reside in for me being able to keep all my toes, I also thank myself for never making the choice to go on an Antarctic expedition...thanks brain.
I have never had the desire to do such things but back in 1912 Captain Robert Scott Falcon chose otherwise, leading himself and three of his men out into the harsh terrain of the Antarctic to make claim on the south pole, Outside is a short film retelling of a fragment of that fateful trip.
Outside has two polar extremes; we are invited into the warmth and comfort of the tent, where the men are able to regroup and nourish themselves, it is also the only time that the cast talk, giving this time on camera a sense of camaraderie. And then there is outside, the harsh unforgiving terrain of the Antarctic flats [actually shot in Norway], a time where the four men have little communication, huddled faces into their jackets as they push further and further on into the snow.
Director David Javid Zaidov allows us to feel the isolation of the Antarctic, with wide shots, showing the vast nature of the area, dwarfing the men to mere black dots in the snow, we are able to get a sense of the huge task that these men were undertaking, as well as a sense of despair they may have felt.
The main focus of this short is Oates played by Tim Bettsworth, who is rapidly succumbing to frostbite and is losing his toes like loose change down the back of a sofa, he is slowing his team down, and with supplies running low he must make a choice on order to help his fellow teammates.
But Oates is not portrayed as a man who heroically sacrifices himself for the good of the expedition, he is a man who simply cannot take anymore, we see him struggle everyday with the most simple of tasks, and as time goes on we feel not only his frustration but his loss in personal dignity.
Bettsworth takes the role to that level, allowing us to be fully immersed in his desire to not be seen as the week link, to at least go out with some pride in and ever declining situation, and in a short film which has very little dialogue this is an impressive performance.
Outside is beautiful and devastating, heroic yet undignified all in one blow, and although only a short film as an audience we feel the length of the struggle those men faced.