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Burnt Toast and Cigarettes

Critic:

Jason Knight

|

Posted on:

9 Mar 2022

Film Reviews
Burnt Toast and Cigarettes
Directed by:
Paul Stainthorpe
Written by:
Paul Stainthorpe, Simon Jefferson
Starring:
Becky Lindsay, Rhiannon Jones, Ellie Bindman, Craig Conway
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A troubled teenager struggles to get her life in order and keeps getting into confrontations.

 

After getting expelled from school over a conflict, Abi (Lindsay) finds herself in a position where she needs to deal with her problems and come to terms with everything if she is to move on with her life. She refuses the support from her father (Conway) and dance teacher (Jones) and holds a serious grudge against a schoolgirl named Chloe (Bindman).

 

This short drama focuses on the life of a young girl who is facing inner issues and explores how her behaviour affects her life and those around her and it is not good. She alienates herself from everybody and hurts those who want to help her. Her aggressive attitude often gets the best of her, resulting in violent behaviour, arguments and drama. There are scenes of nasty confrontation and heartwarming scenes that make the viewing a rather emotional experience.

 

The protagonists deliver strong and dramatic performances. Lindsay is superb as a teenager who experiences what many people her age tend to go through: alienation, anger, sadness, jealousy. Her negative emotions are preventing her from being the good person that she really is. Conway is her father and only parent who cares deeply for his daughter and is torn apart because of the lack of communication between them. Jones is Abi's dance teacher who disapproves of her aggressive behaviour but recognises her potential and Bindman is the fragile girl who falls victim to Abi's temper.

 

Stainthorpe does a great job with the directing and the cinematography by James Alexander looks beautiful and includes brief moments of black-and-white and red-and-black. Composer Marco Belloni develops music that is dramatic and gentle and Eleanor Fielding is creative with the editing and utilises fast cutting effectively.

 

This short is a hard-hitting coming-of-age film that explores themes of self-destruction and teenage anger and alienation. It is a character study that shows how a person's actions can affect their life and points out the importance of support and forgiveness.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film