25 Jun 2022
Emmanuel Ale, Alexander Garcia
An overweight man trains under the guidance of a personal trainer who is very tough on him.
Hoping to lose weight and get into shape, a man (Ale) works out with a fitness instructor (Garcia) at a gym. The two of them are alone and the coach has him doing a variety of exercises, including lifting weights, using a medicine ball and working on a punchbag. The instructor treats the novice very poorly, insulting him and pushing him into exhaustion. Eventually, the man reaches breaking point.
This short is rather dramatic and tense and focuses on a situation where a person is being painfully victimised. The narrative begins with normality, with the beginner doing the workouts and the trainer being decent and as the training progresses, the instructor becomes more and more brutal and verbally mistreats the newcomer and even gets physical with him. The coach calls him names, shouts at him, mocks him for being overweight and makes him feel awful. As he is pushed further into a corner, the tormented man will react dramatically.
The main subject here is bullying and it is vividly shown. The horrible things and profanity that come out of the instructor's mouth are the elements that dominate the story. Watching the beginner being repeatedly mistreated by the coach is rather distressing, because of the cruelty and the effects it has on the victim. As the film is based on a true story, it is shocking and sad to see that some people treat others so badly and it ends up bringing out the worst in them.
Ale is emotional as a vulnerable individual who is being constantly tormented. Garcia steals the show as a despicable person with total desregard for other people's feelings. Both protagonists are quite convincing in their roles.
As the director of photography, Ben Milner does a good job with the cinematography and composer Louis Giannamore creates a score that is tense and dynamic and goes very well with the scenes.
This film is a rollercoaster ride that is filled with heartbreaking cruelty and contains tension that rises and rises until it reaches boiling point. It raises awareness of bullying and the devastating effects it has on people and it is worthy of recognition.