Of those who say nothing… few are silent
Imagine my surprise when my colleague Jotty asked me to watch a short film, called English, by writer, director and producer Tarun Thind and despite my reservations, turned out to be a thought provoking and gritty film that beautifully illustrated some of the key issues in today’s society. Because I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d throw a few thoughts at my mind dump space or “Blog” as it’s more commonly known.
In his own words – The story follows friends English and Jehst who stumble across a harmonica that ignites their rollercoaster journey. Attracting the unwanted attention of several disgruntled characters, they find themselves crossing paths with an erratic homeless man, a territorial hoodlum and a narrow-minded shopkeeper. These intense encounters set up the perfect opportunity for the two friends to extraordinarily give the loudest speech of their lives.
What I found interesting and compelling about this cheeky little film was the careful crafting of each scene and the attention to detail. Each encounter that English and his companion Jehst stumble on is a result of circumstance. They appear content in their original location, but due to factors out of their control they are forced to continually relocate. Through the actions, preconceptions and prejudices of others the boys’ day is shaped and crafted. All the while done without uttering a single word. It is this achievement that really struck a chord with me. I’m a big fan of letting the actions speak louder than words in film and in English this is precedent. As you watch the film and the skeletal script plays out the viewer is forced to continually ask questions about why the film maker had decided not to allow his protagonists to utter a word to those they “threaten.”
There’s strong, bold use of sound, but not so much it detracts from the message of the film and Thind doesn’t do anything too remarkable with the camera, but simply allows his actors and the interpretations that the audience will naturally be swayed towards, as his conducting stick. Even at a mere 17 minutes long, there’s a well constructed twist at the end that is not only fitting, but when the film is watched for a second time really makes you appreciate this clever piece of film making.
With any luck Thind will make something a little lengthier in the future but with the same dedication to challenging the moral core of society. I wait with baited breath. For now, check out the trailer for English below and if you wish to find out any more about the film, check out the Facebook page.
If you are an up-and-coming film maker and want me to cast my highly judgemental eyes over your painstakingly made celluloid creations then please get in contact and we’ll have a slice of lemon drizzle cake.