160mc: Sign Language – A Short Film.

when the film first starts it appears like a documentary but, after a few minutes, you begin to realise it is in fact a ‘mock’-unmentary with actors portraying ‘everyday’ people. The super enthusiastic, slightly naive main character, Ben, is something of an ‘eccentric’. Part of me really wanted Ben to be a real person, he’d be a great friend to have around, who’d constantly have you looking on the bright side. he’s definitely a glass half full person.

i love how colour is used in this film, they really stand out in stark contrast against the grey’s of london’s streets and buildings. highlighting the happiness ben has in a job and backdrop most other people would view as monotonous and boring. the rainbow coloured scarf and bright gloves add to ben’s eccentricity and bright enthusiasm for life. yellows are cleverly used to echo the brightness of ben’s personality, and anya’s bright clothes hint that she may be someone with similar values to our hero.

It takes a real skill for a film maker and script writer to have us rooting for the character in such a short space of time. Within seconds you fall in love with ben’s naivety and really want him to end up happy and ‘get’ the girl. i felt i could really relate to ben’s character. his love of signs and how they help people have made him view the world differently, almost through ‘rose tinted glasses’, as the saying goes. my love of photography often has the same effect. turning the mundane and everyday into something fascinating and beautiful, if viewed from the right ‘angle’.

as ben talk’s about the people he works with he refers to them all as friends, but their reactions to him are quite humdrum and you begin to wonder if the friendship is rather one sided. this really makes the sign turning scene quite emotional, when it’s finally revealed that the people he works alongside do care, and you can really see the emotion in his face. i had a proper lump in my throat, but no sobbing in lectures!

the ending is a bit cheesy with ben going on to pastures new, and rather exciting, with his promotion and him getting the girl. but it’s cheesy in a nice way, and i honestly can’t think of another way i’d have rather seen it end, and that’s from someone who normally hates romantic/schmaltzy films.


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