Jumpers for Goalposts
30 Jun 2022
Thomas Elliott Griffiths
Thomas Elliott Griffiths
Michael Newstead, Luca Donnelly
A middle-aged, terminally ill man attempts to reconcile with his estranged son.
A man (Newstead) arrives at a property. He is paying an unexpected visit to his grown-up son Danny (Donnelly), who he has not seen for a long time. Danny is not happy to see him, however he agrees to go for a walk in the park with him, where they talk about their lives and the father tries to make amends for his past mistakes.
This short is a moving story that focuses on a life-changing meeting between father and son. The screenplay effectively explores the lives of the two lead characters and reveals the unstable relationship they have between them. Their dramatic conversations pretty much dominate the entire narrative and it is quite an emotional ride as the father admits his past errors, makes efforts to reconnect with his son and reveals his illness and Danny discloses that his partner is pregnant. There is sadness because the father does not have long to live and he was not there for his boy while he was growing up, however there is also joy as Danny is going to become a father and hope for better times ahead as the two of them show sympathy towards each other.
Both Newstead and Donnelly deliver very strong performances as they portray individuals whose lives become reconnected. Newstead plays a character who has been in prison, who had a troubled relationship with his own father, who knows that his life will end in the not-too-distant future and who has deep regrets and wants to use the time he has left to set things right with his child. Donnelly's character is angry with his father due to the past, however, he gradually warms up towards him and seems willing to accept him back into his life.
Griffiths does a great job with the directing and composer Ray Gibson creates a magnificent score, with beautiful piano melodies.
With this short drama, the filmmakers bring to life an emotional story about two people coming together after a long time apart, reminiscing about the past, sharing their troubles and attempting to spend quality time together in the future. It is a story that explores parenthood, reconciliation, terminal illness and mortality. It carries the message that life is too short for negative feelings and that people should try to put aside their differences and make the most of every day they are with their loved ones.