Ahead of the Loch Ness Film Festival Moviescramble got a preview of the new short film from writer / Director Fraser Coull and his production company Silly Wee Films. In this latest movie the subjects of love, life and ties beyond the grave are explored in a rapid twenty-minute run time.
David (Rhys Teare-williams) has been with his girlfriend for one year. For their anniversary dinner David has hatched a plan. As a romantic gesture he is going to propose to Katy (April Pearson) if he can summon up the courage. In steps his big brother Steven (Mark Wood) to offer advice and lend a bit of support. David obviously looks up to his brother and the calming influence has its effect on his mood. It’s only then that we see that Steven is in fact a ghost that only David can see. The meal does not go exactly to plan as Steven turns up at the table with a little more advice and encouragement causing David to actually get more nervous and, on the face of it, look like a crazy person talking to himself. They swiftly depart the restaurant and on to the Riverside where the planned proposal is scheduled to take place. Will David overcome his nerves and will Steven be of any help.
It isn’t easy to categorise this film. It has elements of drama, some dry comedy and a little romance thrown together. It works very well. The three leads are impressive with no one character having to carry the film. There is a nicely developed relationship between the two brothers that comes over as quite natural showing that a lot of work was put into the easy looking nature of the bond. April Pearson is also excellent as the object of David’s affections. Her timing in reacting to Davids apparent foibles is well handled and you are given the impression that Katy loves David because of these faults rather than tolerating them.
One of the themes touched upon is the mental state of David. Obviously nervous and wound up for periods of the film you could put that down to the forthcoming proposal or something deeper. Without going into the circumstances surrounding the situation there is a hint that David may be having issues. The loss of his brother may have affected more deeply than he even realises himself. Steven only seems to appear at moments where David needs him the most. It may in fact be his own subconscious trying to deal with the tragedy. An example is where David is calm and in control before a big event. Steven is nowhere to be seen. He obviously hasn’t been around for a long time. Then a stress point, a moment of doubt and the big brother is there. He seems to be able to tell David exactly what he needs to hear at every turn.
As stated above this does not feel like a twenty-minute film. It is well paced, with witty dialogue that pushes the film along at a brisk pace. This is a testament to the quality of the writing and direction. There is not an extraneous scene or sequence of dialogue. Everything on show feels important to the story.
Overall another fine film from Silly Wee films and an indication of Fraser Coull’s burgeoning talents. Recommended.
One Year alter will be screen at the Loch Ness Film Festival on 27th July and the Deep Dried Film festival on 11th August.