Joe Beck


Posted on:

2 Aug 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Brian Barnes, Matthew Merenda
Written by:
Brian Barnes, Matthew Merenda
David Agustin
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‘Yellow’ is one of the wildest, most wacky, utterly insane movies you’ll see all year. It takes it’s already pretty crazy concept and runs with it, taking it to levels of barminess which are wholly unexpected and makes you wonder what sort of deranged person thought it all up.


The answer to that would be Brian Barnes and Matthew Merenda, who both co-wrote and co-directed the film, a completely ordinary story about a man who has turned into a rubber duck. Yes, you did read that right, a man who randomly, for no reason, turned into a rubber duck. We follow this man-duck thing, voiced by David Agustin, as he is lifted out of the box and into the big wide world of the bathroom. It’s scary, toilets, baths, the natives, not to mention the obvious. The things this duck must have seen - it’s a horror film!


As our rubber duck outbursts into a string of meditations over life and reality, we begin to soften to this strange talking creature and realise that at it’s heart ‘Yellow’ is not just a wacky idea. No, it wants us to realise the beauty of everyday life, and understand how quickly it can all disappear - after all, you never know when you could get turned into a rubber duck.


The duck formulates an escape plan - referencing Red in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ by saying ‘some birds aren’t meant to be caged’ - however, escaping is rather difficult when you cannot move. Instead, the rubber duck finds hope by dreaming of his future out of the bathroom, a future in which he rekindles his love has children and lives life to its fullest - this all sounds like utter nonsense; you have to see it to believe it.


As expected with a concept so out of the ordinary plain of thought, there are a few inconsistencies. The other ducks can’t talk, yet, our rubber duck-man references a conversation he’s had with one of them. There’s also the dilemma of only a select couple of people being able to hear him, not including the owner because then you’d have a very different film. Also, whilst David Agustin’s voice acting was never not engaging, it left a little bit to be desired and felt more as though he was channelling his inner Andy Samberg, than trying to forge his own distinctive voice.


You may be fooled into thinking that this is a family-friendly kid's movie, which will entertain the adults as well, in the same vein as 'Toy Story', however, this follows more the 'Sausage Party' route in that regard, though fortunately it is far greater in quality and less reliant on that film's crude humour.


Barmy as it may be, there’s something about ‘Yellow’ which just works - sure it’s funny, with a concept like this it’s hard not to be, but more potently it actually engages the brain and makes you think, and not just about how a duck and a human might conceive.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film