Directed by: #RobMcLean
When a film opens with a poem about happiness you just know it won't be a barrel of laughs. A black screen with highlighted colours warns bleakly 'being happy I just don't see it'. The poem concludes ‘there's no yellow in the blue of my life's paint palette’. A boy walking through the woods to the seafront may therefore be symbolic; yellow sand overshadowed by a blue sky. If colours represent our emotions the film's title may simply allude to a state of mind. Can we easily find happiness after a period of sadness? The boy emerging from the woods onto the beach is Isaac (Nathaniel Davis), who is coming to terms with an emotional double whammy; the death of his mother and a family rift with siblings Anna (Isabella Crowther) and Vinny (Richard Burtinshaw). He has since fled the family home to a refuge by the sea. But will he find peace of mind in this newly discovered solitude? He is joined by friends Ewan, Oliver and Elly who try their best to build bridges, but inevitably cracks in their relationship begin to show.
Yellow in the Blue divides into prologue, summer, winter and spring; although not always providing the structure and content one would expect. Director Rob McLean has a fondness for emotional metaphors, but seasons aren’t nearly so effective as colours; summer jumps abruptly to winter with the same level of introspection. The prologue seems brutally short and doesn't provide a strong enough introduction. Moreover, grainy home movie style clips don’t fit easily into the narrative, and seem to divert rather enhance the story. However, a broad representation of the seasons does trace Isaac's emotional recovery and eventual reconciliation with his family.
The cast of Yellow in the Blue generally deliver a solid performance, but there is hesitancy in delivery which lessens the dramatic impact. The soundtrack is a curious mix of folk inspired tunes and soothing tone of the ocean and birdsong. It may have been unintended, but it adds peaceful contrast to the frequent conflict between characters. The script fires off in various directions which occasionally make the plot difficult to follow. For example, Isaac awaking from a dream sequence falls into a contextual hole; pay close attention and you eventually work out the tangents but it can be heavy going. There is however, enough substance to hold the interest in an often touching story of a boy coping with the grown up world.