Directed by: Evan Kidd
Written by: Evan Kidd
Starring: Damien Elliott Bynum, Melissa Cowan Rattray
Each one of us has our own way of dealing with grief. The pain of losing a loved one has such a significant effect that we seek shelter away from the crowd. In despair, we lose any motivation to work, which hinders our professional life. We cling to the bed and replay those good old memories in our minds.
Kamus Leonardo (Damien Elliott Bynum) has lost his Destiny. Sure, he is unable to rap (he is a rapper), but Destiny is also the name of his girlfriend. She is dead, leaving Kamus in a disordered state. He is unable to write lyrics for his next rap. He prefers lying in his bed with a bag of chips close by. Kamus also calls in sick so that he could skip work and repose on his couch. He is not ready to be active in his career or open communication, for that matter.
But Kamus is not alone. Apparently, there is something more than a packet of chips keeping him company. It’s a Panda (Melissa Cowan Rattray hides behind the furry costume). Of course, this Panda exists in his imagination. With whatever nanoscopic influence the Panda has, it uses it to motivate Kamus to go out and work or talk to his friends. It’s ironic to see an animal known for its clumsiness trying to encourage someone to achieve something. But then, Kamus is behaving like a panda. Only laziness is coursing through his blood. Funny how the roles are reversed. Also, think for a minute, and you will understand that we (or some individuals) basically turn into a panda when in grief. We eat and roll around and then eat again. The cycle continues. However, the chubby bearlike mammal is not always sad when doing this activity.
It’s nice how the characters in Evan Kidd’s movie do not keep on repeating the “how are you doing?” line to Kamus. I don’t even remember anyone asking him this question. These characters know what he is going through and give him his space to heal. Although for his own good, they want him to get up on his feet, and so Kamus’ grandmother tries to set up a date for him. My favorite scene happens when Kamus opens up to a farmer (Eric Hartley) on his property. While Kamus talks about what he would have done if he had more time with her girlfriend, the farmer reveals the sadness behind living away from the bustle of the city and family. “Sometimes you want the bother,” he says to Kamus, who shows a liking towards the low-key environment.
Our time spent with a beloved someone is often recalled with a tinge of paradise. We make up heavenly details (like brighter colors or sweeter smiles) that would not have existed in reality. When Kamus thinks of Destiny, we watch them in a happy place with sunshine falling like a blessing around them. Ultimately, Panda Bear It reassures that you are in no way the first person ever who goes through a certain period of misery. To borrow a few words from a rap song in the film - You’re not alone.