Under Pressure short film review

★★★★

Directed by: Diego Fandos

Written by: Diego Fandos, Jose Kattau

Starring: Rebecca Labbe and Georgi Unkovski

Short Film Review by: Rachel Pullen


Under Pressure Movie Review


Under Pressure Movie Poster

Hobbies are important, they help stimulate the brain, help you achieve goals and such, but they also help us connect with our fellow man, make friends and create communities, and as well as that often can lead to romance.


Common interests are a great way to lure in a mate, I opt for the old bait and trap method but hey we are all different in our approach to wooing the opposite sex, but if you choose the more wholesome approach you may fall into the world that our characters do in Diego Fandos’ short film Under Pressure.


Under Pressure follows a young man as he trains hard at his local swimming pool; he splashes, he does lengths, he gets inconvenienced by other swimmers being casual in their approach to water based fitness. How dare they have fun, some people are so rude.


But it's not long until he is distracted by a beautiful lady who also enjoys the splashy splashy fun of swimming, and they, without a word spoken, create a bond with each other, clearly there is something in the water.


He plucks up the courage to meet with her on dry land after their swim meet but is stunned to find she is a bad ass rocker, sporting pentagrams and fishnet tights...oh rebel, and he in his more conservative shirt, tie and crucifix notes the obvious differences between them out of the safety of the water. Maybe they should consider a life at sea because being on land is clearly not for them.


The short film though leaves us for a moment as they run in opposite directions, feeling as though reality hit too hard, that a simple interaction and common interest is not enough in the real world, a moment where as an audience we feel a sense of disappointment and sadness that some people cannot overlook external appearance no matter how much we enjoy their company.


Fandos’ choice to dwell on that moment, a wide shot of an empty staircase where our lovers run from one another speaks volumes, after all the swimming and gentle engagement from our pair, to see them horrified in the others life choices, leaves a bad taste in the mouth; how many people have we abandoned just because they don't fit the mold of our life choices? We can hope not many, but I doubt we are not all that innocent.


But rejoice! They return to the safety of the water and strip themselves bare of their clothing and connect over their common interest, demonstrating the importance of freeing yourself from surface based judgments.


This short movie employs the use of silence throughout, the whole film has no dialogue, no music, just the gentle atmospheric sounds that come with being in a swimming pool. The echoing absence of the real world when in places like that are often underappreciated, but when placed alongside the final scene of the pair swimming, Fandos includes music to amplify the importance of their joy and happiness which is felt as they strip themselves bare of the people society sees them as, compared to who they really feel they are.


Under Pressure is in essence a very simple idea but Fandos executes it in a way in which we all can relate to, all of us have fallen victim to being judgmental or being judged on how we look, and to place it in a context where we can see people fall away from it in the most simple and basic forms of human interaction creates an engaging and moving experience.


Beautifully shot and humble in its approach, Under Pressure provides a refreshing look at human interactions, be they positive or negative, be they on dry land or in the water, or be they by common interest of the old bait and trap.


#RachelPullen