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The Party

average rating is 4 out of 5


Rob Jones


Posted on:

Mar 13, 2023

Film Reviews
The Party
Directed by:
Imran Mohammed Noor, Haley Muraleedharan
Written by:
Joe Willis
Jennifer Bulcock

The struggles of early parenthood are well-documented, and to a degree, sympathised with. The sleepless nights, held to ransom by what amounts to an emotional alarm clock at that point, are an aspect of it all that seems difficult no matter how it’s presented. But if people have had to deal with that for thousands of years, then maybe there’s something in all of us that means we could probably have a go at it too, right? The Party is more interested in the stage of parenting that comes after all of that, something that’s a bit less well covered. The dreaded forced social life that comes with it all. Something that’s only made harder when your child is neurodivergent.


We start with our protagonist loading the car up in an idealistic urban neighbourhood to a simple, cheerful score. Everything seems like it’s going great until she receives a phone call from another mum. The party has been cancelled because of your usual toddler stuff, nothing too dramatic. In most circumstances, the thought of having a day back that was previously written off might be nice, but this mother needs a space to vent, and that’s exactly what the film provides her as she looks straight at us.


We learn about why this isn’t a cause for celebration, how difficult the conversation with her child is going to be, and the general hardships of what it’s like to be a parent to an autistic child. Being that the story is told to us in quite a literal sense, it might be open to the criticism that it’s a bit on the nose, or that it lacks nuance, but there’s more to it than that. The frustration at the lack of understanding that this mother feels from her peers is such that we’re not allowed anything other than the cold, hard front of it. The nuances in her story have been completely ignored up until this point, so by the time we join it, it’s already too late to trust us with them.


This is a thoughtful, intelligent piece of film that, under the right circumstances, should be capable of forcing a lot of meaningful reflection from those who are open to it. Even just the subversion in the contrast between the bright, chirpy aesthetics and the tender words that we hear to accompany them gives an impression of just how overwhelming this experience must be. By focusing on something that’s so routine for other parents as a catalyst for so much, The Party achieves a lot with very little.


It’s hard to believe just how short this short film is given how rich it is, but perhaps the luxury of anything longer is something else that we just can’t be trusted with.

About the Film Critic
Rob Jones
Rob Jones
Short Film
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