In the 2016 Oscar winning live action short film, Benjamin Cleary presents us with a singular story of a man with a stammering difficulty, who chooses to play dumb most of the time in his outside activities. It asks the question whether nothing is better than a little bit of something.
It starts with phone call of the protagonist, Greenwood Carsen, calling a certain customer service centre but the representative hangs up when he couldn’t say a word due to his stammering problem. Carsen is seen practicing sign language after that. We also come to know that he has been in an online relationship with a girl, Ellie Parks. He visits his father bond over a movie or a game of chess. He has his own outlook about other people, mostly negative or he prefers to ponder over inferior people. Ellie is visiting London and wants to be in a real relation with him, putting aside all the virtual ties of social media, a real relation where there will be physicality, happiness, anger, ups and downs of the real world and an evolution of true love amidst their difficulties. But Carsen holds back for fear of rejection, for lack of his confidence, for he believes she will not accept him as he is. But after not responding for a day, he apologizes and agrees to meet. Greenwood is nervous fellow on the day of the date but a surprise waits for him in their meeting. Ellie cannot speak: he sees her communicating using sign language.
It is a beautiful story and the cast does a full justice to make good film out of it. Mathew Needham as Greenwood is utterly brilliant; his stammer and face does most of his work. The cinematography of Michael Paleodimos is worth a mention. The lighting of the night scenes are good, focusing the attention on the face of Needham. The close ups are also used in a good way to convey the difficulties of our stammering hero. Overall it is a good film, with good performances in a package of thirteen minutes.
Film Score: 75