Director - Rob Lainchbury Writer - Alexandra Taylor
Starring Zenna Turner & Katy Jane
Review by Monica Jowett
It’s a rainy day for shopping in The Reason I Shop Online, directed by Rob Lainchbury. The lengths we go to, to find everything on the grocery list will make you smile and sympathise with the frustration of hunting around shops.
Honey (Zenna Turner) is going through her shopping list, but can’t find any ginger in the shop, with no help from the cashier Jeanie (Katy Jane). Once outside she asks her iPhone where she can get some and so ends up on a quest to find it, trekking through the countryside, jumping across streams to do so. The film title may be misleading, but makes sense when Honey has to go to great lengths to acquire some ginger. Shopping is made easier when done online at home. Though minimal, the script is funny. Awkward conversation stumbles out, as it would do when shopping.
The script and simple plot lets other aspects of the film breathe. The characters of Honey and Jeanie are perfect opposite one another. Honey’s frustration at the quest for some ginger is relatable; however she does find amusement in the oddity of it. Jeanie shows a no-nonsense attitude to Honey, practically sneering at her as she goes to such great lengths for the ginger. The performances are natural, Turner particularly. Her facial expressions and tone of voice as she shops could be seen in every day shopping excursions.
Furthermore Lainchbury’s direction for the confrontation in the woods between Honey and Jeanie shows good filmmaking. The close-up framing on the two characters adds intensity for what is an anticlimactic end.
When in the shop, light hearted upbeat music is played as Honey happily browses the shelves, but once she starts on her journey for ginger, the music has a dramatic change. It feels as though Honey is now on an epic quest, full of danger and intrigue, which adds to the hilarity of the situation. It changes again for the confrontation in the wood. The tinkling sound mixed with background noise of birds gives the impression it is a magical place.
Additionally the cinematography demonstrates the transition from an average shopping trip to dangerous quest. Though it is all grey skies and rain, as Honey travels through the country, the miserable weather seems to make the journey exciting instead.
Quietly comical, The Reason I Shop Online is a great short film from Lainchbury providing an entertaining journey for some ginger, at the expense of Honey. The light hearted and quirky tone of the short film makes you wonder what you would do for a hard-to-find item of shopping, or rather stay indoors and do it online.