Directed by Paul Murphy Starring Greg Haiste & Marie Lawrence
Short film review by Monica Jowett
Coming across germs and dirt is part of everyday life, which makes it difficult for a man with an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. However, even he can find happiness in the form of a jogger who passes him by in the park, and so he makes it his mission to get her to notice him, in this short silent comedy Wipeout from director Paul Murphy.
This silent comedy short film follows George (Greg Haiste) who has OCD, dodging pieces of rubbish that litter the ground as he walks along the path, who becomes attracted to jogger Amanda (Marie Lawrence) as she runs past him, unfazed by the rubbish on the ground. He then makes many attempts to get her to notice him, trying to offer a rose or alternatively a bottle of juice for her run, or show off his stretching exercises. Over a period of weeks, he becomes closer, but will she ever notice him and appreciate his efforts?
Due to a lack of dialogue, the structure of the script uses title cards to signal the change in his progress. This technique, like a lot of silent films, produces a time frame with the pivotal moments happening every few weeks and shows Amanda didn’t fall for George quickly and it took energy and work and he tries to overcome his quirks.
Reminiscent of Harold Lloyd’s black and white silent comedies, Wipeout is similar in that Lloyd was a simple man with a lot of charm and drive to get the girls who featured in his films. This short also makes use of some physical comedy. George is very precise about his OCD, yet when he starts jogging he seems to be a bit clumsy, too busy looking at Amanda to notice a sign in front of him that creates quite a goofy character.
The music from composer Richard Keyworth is in the same vein as the comedy of the silent era and is parallel to the on screen action, as it rises and falls at certain times, and keeps a constant upbeat tune that matches George’s attitude to getting the girl.
Wipeout is a quirky silent comedy, which completely makes up for the absence of dialogue in the goofy and instantly likable character of George and the action and music fill up this enjoyable short film.