Do British People Have A Heart

If a man mourns a death loudly and no-one wants to hear it, does he make a sound? The objects of common sense exist only when they are perceived.

Genre: Comedy

Length: 4:23

Free To View

2.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Esmee Huguenin,

Director/s : Solomon Watkins, 

Writer/s : Solomon Watkins, 

Actor/s : Esmee Huguenin, Alfie Lang


Hearts and minds

A rapid response reaction to the Covid-19 lockdown, shot by Solomon Watkin from his apartment on a London social housing estate. He points his camera at unsuspecting neighbours, starting with the Thursday pot-bang in appreciation of NHS and key workers. Then he picks up on individuals and groups, and creates imaginary conversations using friends for the voices.

Some are amusing, like the youths negotiating to buy toilet rolls as if they were crack cocaine, police insisting someone must have a dog before being allowed to walk outside, and the guy wasting time at a pub’s outside table, only now without a beer and with a clear conscience. You get the idea. Some are just a perspective on ordinary people and the lockdown situation.

It’s all shaky camera and dodgy focus, and you might call it verité if you were charitably disposed. He’s had an idea which makes a virtue of enforced confinement, and seen it through. That’s commendable in itself, but the comedic invention isn’t quite enough to sustain its modest runtime.

One problem with such an immediate reaction to a crisis is that this week’s hot topic is next week’s old hat. Another is that there’s no time for reflection. There’s a certain anger at people not following distancing rules, and with people dying, this is justified. With invented chavvy arguments and general brainlessness, it seems that Oman’s answer to the question posed by his title is at best equivocal. Perhaps if he’d ended with the pot-banging, a more positive verdict; and one wonders if his tone would be different a month or so later.