10 Aug 2021
A film about pens. Straight away, writer and director Ananthu Ramesh has given himself a tough task in creating an engaging and insightful short film. However, the simple storyline, and an excellent performance by Hashim Abubacker, crafts a film that viewers are unlikely to forget.
The only character in the film (played by Hashim Abubacker) has a simple goal: to write. This menial and seemingly insignificant task becomes relentlessly infuriating and insurmountable for our unfortunate hero of the story. The film disregards any need for context or character development. After all, this is a situation we have all found ourselves in; the desire for simple objects to work. In the beginning, he remains calm and composed as he reaches for his pens. He tries one. Two. Three. Four. The emergence of fury begins as a fly enters the room, another universal annoyance that humans must face. Interesting cinematic choices by director Ananthu Ramesh keep the viewer totally focused, demonstrated in some excellent shots from the flies perspective as it seems to mock him for his struggles. The rage builds and we see a fascinating transformation of the once calm character; a transformation that much of us see far too often in ourselves.
Cinematography plays an essential role in showing this transformation. As mentioned before, a fly point-of-view sequence leads to a fresh perspective. Excellent cinematography such as this prevents a simplistic storyline from becoming slightly dull for certain viewers. Shots of the pens throughout also portrays them as almost characters themselves; characters that transform from a friend to an enemy as they one-by-one refuse to work. Ananthu Ramesh is able to build clear tension between the pens and the lead actor, an idea that could seem absurd outside the transformative world of film. The sound-design is also an essential element throughout the film, crafted by Poisoned Toffee and Shyam Sundar. A continuous backdrop of music that complements the excellent portrayal of growing frustration that turns to all-out rage.
CLOAcKED PENs is an excellent look into simple, everyday annoyances that can impact us so powerfully. For myself (and many others I am sure), it acts as an introspective view into the unjustifiable effects on ourselves that stem from these insignificant irritants. This film acts as a fascinating and unique portrayal of this. Brought together with excellent cinematography, sound-design and an outstanding lead performance, this short film was a wonderful insight into the absurdity of some human behaviour.