Great use of location and engaging in its silent delivery, but not as clear, smart or sharp in its point as I was hoping it would be
A man working alone in a missile silo receives a poor performance review on his most recent inspection – with the note that maintenance tasks are being neglected due to his hobbies. As a result the man steps up and determines to make the silo better than ever, and halfway to his next inspection he is well on his way – apart from one small detail.
There is a certain level of silent absurdity with this short film, because the events that unfold are not realistic. That is not to say that this is a silly film or a daft one, on the contrary it is a very well paced and totally silent film which builds the acceptance of the absurd into the fabric of what it is doing. The silo being repaired but the missile itself becoming a literal paper tiger is daft but engaging. That said, I did not find it s smart or as funny as I would have liked, and in the end it gave me a certain "humph" of pleasure to see it play out, but at the same time I would have preferred it do this in a shorter time, or have brought a bit more to the table.
I guess there must be a meaning behind it, and for sure the van Goethe quote at the start suggests that it must be an allegory for something, since the man prefers fake versions of reality even though he already has it, but then once he loses it, it all becomes very real and the counterfeit no longer is enough. One could dig into that plus the theme of bureaucratic pointlessness, but I didn't get much from it; not the smartest man perhaps, but I do think the film could have helped me out a little with this. I read on a blog that writer/director Soll's day job is creative producer for some of the Democratic party – which adds interest to the idea of not looking after what we have but then trying to fake it once the reality is gone, however this interest is not in the film as I wanted.
The use of the location and the way it silently plays out does make it worth seeing though, and it does look great as it uses the disused silo really well. Green is engaging in the lead despite not having any words, and it does have a great sense of engagement by the way it does this. I do just wish it was clearer as to its point (which it clearly has) and that the absurdity of the situation had connected to me better than it ultimately did.
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