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average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Nov 30, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Philip Brocklehurst
Written by:
Muhammad Holmatov
P.M. Thomas

Another interesting short by independent and experimental filmmaker Philip Brocklehurst and some of his frequent collaborators. The protagonist is played by Brocklehurst, who is credited as P.M. Thomas and like some of his previous films, this one focuses on a person ending their life and not a single word is uttered.


Considering that this project has a duration of one minute and twenty seconds, it would be hard to analyse it without giving much away. The structure has two storylines that alternate between them and both have the same protagonist (Thomas), who is the only individual in the film. One part has a man sitting on a couch, holding a bottle of alcoholic drink in one hand and a bottle of pills in the other. He places pills in his mouth and swallows them with the drink. He then looks up and proceeds to stare at a decorated light bulb and continues to do so as he gradually passes away. The other part has the same man sitting in a bathtub, apparently naked and rocking his body back and forth while his hands are on his head. Judging by his face expression, he appears to be quite troubled. The story cuts back and forth in time, as the bathroom scenes are the past and the suicide scenes are obviously the present.


Unsurprisingly, given the events that take place in the film, the atmosphere is distressing. It is about a young man committing suicide and the screenplay shows him engaging in the act and the bathroom scenes reveal the troubled emotional state he is in, presumably due to mental health issues or bad experiences. Because of all this, there are the constant feelings of despair and agony, which are supported by Vladislav Nogin's music, which does not actually sound like a score but rather a continuous muffled sound that gradually becomes louder.


The filmmakers utilise interesting techniques regarding the cinematography. The image during the suicide scenes is dark blue and during the bathroom scenes it is red. The reason for this decision could be due to the character's state of mind, with red symbolising the distress he is going through and dark blue symbolising his lack of hope. It is worth noting that the colour alternation makes the viewing more intriguing, with the image repeatedly switching, going blue, red, blue, red throughout.


Other creative techniques include the out-of-focus, point-of-view shots of the light bulb. As mentioned, the man stares at the light bulb while he dies and as the image goes out of focus, it indicates his failing eyesight as he slowly passes away.


Brocklehurst has once again made a film about dying and although watching it is an unpleasant experience, one should admire the creativity that was used in order to make a haunting short about a man who is trapped in an abyss and decides to end it all.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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