Written & Directed by: #OliverWard
The final days in the hometown come to a close for a group of mischievous friends; leaving Jonty alone.
So if there’s the coming of age film, Promenade is the “growing” of age. Departing for bigger things, breaking from a tight-nit gang of friends, splitting off to achieve the thing we call life. And most of the time, there’s an individual who doesn’t feel like change. This time of their life was their highest point, and nothing ahead seems clear. In this film’s case, Jonty is that individual. He’s enjoying the final days with his group of teenage friends, as they speak of what’s to come beyond, but he doesn’t feel quite as energised by the idea.
I’m familiar with this feeling because, well, I’m a little like Jonty. The feeling of people leaving you behind, setting huge goals to reach, accolades to earn. But you’re left to figure yourself out. It doesn’t get much easier and you never really feel confident in what lies ahead, but you keep going because that’s the precious thing about life; it’s unpredictable. Promenade places all focus on the final parties and football kick-abouts, with banter and laughs between the group of friends. As a viewer, witnessing a pretty realistic portrayal of young men and women just being in each others company. The characters are well textured, and though not massively interesting, it’s enough to latch onto. All of the performances, bar one or two side characters, are superb for a short like this. It’s on the borderline of cheap and pricey, right in the middle.
The cinematography reflects something like Trainspotting, perhaps not just due to shot choices, but the thematic material also. Some of the angles can be slightly jarring, just how some characters are placed in the frame, but I think it could be more of a stylistic approach, more so than an overlook. It has a very messy but contained look and feel, like it’s been tampered with but creases just smoothed out enough. The soundtrack to Promenade adds a nice layer of character. The party scenes feel energetic, and the softer moments complimented well.
There isn’t much happening in Ward’s new short film, but it was approached and tackled with care and it’s quite a mature piece. Promenade invites you into the lives of teenagers as they bid farewell to the antics, and move on out into the world. It was something I quite enjoyed seeing documented, even if it was something I’d seen before.
Watch the trailer for Promenade below.