Very nice concept but delivery of the core is unnatural and far too "written" and "acted"
There is a really nice and smart idea here – that is not me opening this with a line to try to build up to a "but", it is genuinely that this short film is based on an engaging and clever concept. We find ourselves in a line which we assume is at an airport; everyone is waiting to check in the bags that they have with them. The twist we learn very quickly is that the bags are emotional baggage, whether it be hang-ups, break-ups, anger, and so on – this also explains why the film opens with a woman crying. Perhaps I am slow on the uptake, but when I got this at the start I hadn't seen it coming so it was a nice little hook just 30 seconds into the film.
From here we get a short montage of different people's issues being check, some of them funny but mostly it works as just establishing how this internal world is working and what it handles. We then move to the body of the film, which is that two people on line get chatting as they wait. This is the heart of the short and it is a real shame that it doesn't work as well as it should. I am not sure if it is the writing or the delivery or a bit of both, but this section really clunks where it is spark. It needed to be natural in how it came over but instead the dialogue really feels like it has been written rather than spoken, and the performances really feel like they are performances rather than people. This artificiality even stands out in the fictional world of the short film and unfortunately also spills over into the final scenes where the "message" or "point" of the film comes; again as an idea it is a good one and as a message it is fundamentally true, however it is delivered with such a stiff and unnatural feel that it smothers the good.
I don't want to pick on the cast, because I think this aspect does start on the page, but it is hard not to focus on Mueller and Lloyd. Together they both have two consecutive l's in their names, but this seems to be the only area where they have chemistry. On top of that both do come across as "speaking words out loud" rather than being people in this context. Ironically the supporting cast with a few lines are mostly pretty good and often funny, but they can only do so much. Bennett's baggage attendant was probably the best performance in the film as hers was mostly acting between her limited lines; tellingly the only time she didn't work was the fault of the line "not my first day at the rodeo", which didn't work as a line for me or (obviously) for her Technically it is solidly made and looked good albeit the limits of the set were apparent. The sound bugged me a little bit as there were moments where it dipped or moments where the overlay was too apparent (the crying for instance).
I have been harsh on this short and it is a shame because I did really like the idea and what it was trying to do – which is probably why the disappointment of the unnatural and awkward sections hit me harder that they would otherwise have done.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this