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Mute Swan (2010)

13 mins

Watch it for free at IMDB.

Synopsis: A film about social rejection, identity crisis and sexuality.

Director: Brindusa Ioana Nastasa

Writers: Brian Harley and Brindusa Ioana Nastasa (story)

Stars: Nick AllenFelicity Rose Barrow and Joe Carvell

Serious Jest:   (Free View)  To be frank, I originally rated this film 2 mugs, because the subject matter is not something I enjoy in films: kid who doesn’t get enough attention battles his trenchcoat-mafia-like tendencies.  That being said, the director and cast did a great job of illustrating a day in this little weirdo’s life, the causes for his behavior, his awkwardness around people, how others view him, his feelings of being misunderstood, and the possibility that he was not doomed to continue this lonely existence.  So, although I probably wouldn’t actively recommend this film as a fun way to spend 13 minutes, I felt it was worth the time I spent watching it just because it was so well done for what it was…so it gets 3 mugs.

The acting was good–I could read Benny’s thoughts on his face as he came to his epiphany.  While some people might find abrasive his reactions to “minor” disappointments, many adolescent boys actually do overreact in that fashion, because they haven’t yet learned to control their frustration.  I was not like Benny growing up, but I knew more than a few boys that were like him.  Also, my youngest brother, “LBE,” was much younger than my other brother, “Panetti,” and me.  LBE has described growing up with 2 much-older brothers as almost being an only child.  For a couple of years, my parents moved to a town that LBE hated.  He wasn’t interested in making friends there, and because Panetti and I had already moved out, LBE spent most of those 2 years in his room playing video games, on the internet, and watching Sportscenter.  During that time, he seemed very lonely and exhibited some of the same behavior that I observed in Benny.  Fortunately, my parents moved again, this time to a town where LBE fit in a lot more, and he started to rejoin society.  Today, he’s a very popular young man with a bright future.  However, I feel that sometimes growing up as an “only child” leaves some lasting detachment, selfishness, bad habits, and ignorance as to basic social/community concepts, which can all fortunately be overcome once that person is surrounded by a good community.  LBE is not exactly like Benny, but this film made me think of him.

I loved the interaction between Benny’s mother and her boyfriend, as well; not only was it funny, but it also illustrated where his mother’s attention was.  In addition, I like what the filmmakers tried to do with the audio, and that they tried different camera angles; however, there is room for development in the execution–a little more subtlety with the effects will make them resound better with the audience, in my opinion.  For example, I get that Benny placing the glass on the table was supposed to sound abrupt and louder than the background, but no need to jack the volume difference up so much that I actually got annoyed.  All in all, though, good work.  I assume the filmmakers are at the beginning of their careers, and will only get better.

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About Serious Jest

Film & TV Reviewer by Choice, Attorney at Law, Marine to the Corps (excuse the pun), Nupe Under Pressure, and MC by Nature

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