Directed by: Thomas Elliott Griffiths
Starring Connor Coen and Karly Maguire
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
The Break Film Review
Relationships are a thing, you hang out and get naked and die together, but we must admit however comforting it is to have a lifetime companion, sometimes a relationship can lose its spark, and the safety of the same old daily routine can rob us of our passion and drive in life. That's why I regularly trick my partners by dressing up as Bill Clinton and refusing to break character for days at a time.
The short film, The Break, welcomes us into the lives of a young couple who are blissful and content in each other’s company, in sync and aware of the other without a spoken word as they share a cigarette, lost in their own worlds.
The camping holiday they appear to be on could be an amazing romantic break, or it could be the worst final attempt to salvage a lost love, we never know as neither of the characters lets on, are they so comfortable that they don't need to fill the silence between each other or is it that they have run out of things to say to each other, the audience is left to ponder this.
With all this free time and quiet on his hands, our main man finds himself drifting into vivid daydreams of how he and his lady met, an idyllic exchange in a coffee shop, a sly touch of the hand, glances from across the bar. Quickly it flashes back, the pair entwined in their weekend home, with nothing but the sound of the rain to break the silence between them, not until just as we fade to black they both admit that they are asleep, aloud and with no disruptions, these words ring out for what seems like forever.
Audiences may take away from the final closing moment of this film the admittance of defeat within their relationship, the painful reality that neither can say aloud that they are, in essence, sleepwalking through their lives together; the spark has gone, neither feel alive, but this could be the point of the film. Are you going to walk away from this with a glass half full or empty, do you see a joyous connection and life partner, or a dead-end to a relationship going nowhere.
Clearly, the break is the tip of the iceberg, a deeper story lies just beneath, and we as an audience can see it, but must display the patience and discipline in knowing that it’s slightly out of reach for our eyes.
There is nothing startling about this piece, nothing that imposes itself as a film, but its ambiguity, its sense of emptiness and its subject matter that may be too close to home for many, will leave the viewer uncomfortable and questioning.
Shot beautifully, with profound attention to the use of colour, we are able to pick up on many emotions and character needs and wants on-screen. Whilst nothing is said, The Break as a short film exposes itself in a discreet way, but one that is right out in the open, for we are given the gift of not being spoonfed by the director, we must make our own mind up about the couple, deciphering body language and tone of voice, just like couples do to one another in real life, there are no clear answers and that is something that is a refreshing change to romantically themed films.