Adam from Willesden Green
Jan 15, 2024
Riccardo, Bakh Sayeda, Shayaan, Teni
After his girlfriend Sia drops the bombshell that she is now going to a different university than him and effectively ending their relationship, Adam finds himself in a race against time across town to get to Sia’s place in one last attempt to change her mind before she goes, or at least to say one last goodbye.
Excelling in technical prowess but falling short in terms of storytelling, Adam from Willesden Green visually shows off a great deal of style but doesn’t deliver enough substance to go with it. Technically it’s hats-off, the film does consistently look and feel very well polished throughout. Camerawork is tight, lighting is on-point and while there might not be any amazing trickery on display, it’s a very well-executed, good-looking piece of filmmaking that gives this short a real cinematic feel throughout.
But despite how good it might look, it is a shame that the script joining all these accomplished scenes together falls somewhat shorter in terms of quality. The necessary beats needed to make sure the plot has a beginning, middle and end are there, but other than that the film lacks any real depth, purpose or indeed clarity in the story it's trying to tell.
In giving itself just under seven minutes to tell its story, the film needed to act quickly in order to get us involved and invested, but it sadly squanders too much of that time. The odd and short-lived sexual extortion sub-plot that suddenly appears and disappears in the middle contributes almost nothing, is not needed and eats up nearly a third of that runtime, perhaps an attempt to invoke a bit of drama but it's time that could have been better spent helping us connect with the characters.
Why should Adam’s desperation to see his girlfriend one last time matter to us? How long have they been together? What’s their relationship like? It’s never really established why this is all so important to Adam, is it young love or is it simply pride? While not all of these need to be answered, there needs to be something to go on, and we are simply not given enough time or information to even really form any kind of opinion of him, let alone root for him.
The writing is somewhat stronger in terms of its dialogue which does itself go through highs and lows but does at least feel authentic and consistent to the characters, even if some lines do fall into crass or cringe but for the most part are in keeping with the characters delivering them. Sia’s general apathy towards pretty much everything and Adam’s desperation are consistent and keep these characters feeling somewhat distinct, it’s just not enough unfortunately to help us want to know them more.
Adam from Willesden Green is a great-looking film that covers all the essential parts it needs to get from A to B, but despite its ambition lacks a number of key elements to make it work properly.