The Text Kit

Teenager Tiger panics about having picked up an STD, but when she wants to get checked the Brave New NHS is not that straightforward

Genre: Comedy

Length: 7:53

Free To View

2.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Barbara Vonau,

Director/s : Vaiginta Perkauskaite, 

Writer/s : Barbara Vonau, 

Actor/s : Chanice Hird, David Duff


Textually transmitted dis-ease

The opening, a dark shot of a bleeding hand, seems to be setting us up for a horror film. Cut to sixteen year old Tiger in an STD clinic somewhere in comedyville. She can only get to see schlubby dandruff-snowing Dr Mackenzie, who says “This isn’t my area.” So what’s he doing there? He checks her knowing he should have a chaperone, and prioritises her over his round at the Intensive Care Unit, none of which inspire confidence either.

She thinks she might have “physalis”. Ho ho. It took a couple of rewinds to realise that the blood and her bandaged fingers are from several STD self-test fails. They failed because Tiger couldn’t put the light on, as the bathroom didn’t have a lock and she didn’t want her parents to know. It’s hardly plausible that a girl who’s had sex can’t find any privacy these days, and anyway, wouldn’t spending ages in a dark bathroom risk questions? Plausibility is also stretched by Tiger having met the guy on snapchat, yet her friend knows he has an infection.

Chanice Hird has undoubted talent as the sardonic Tiger, and David Duff delivers as the barely competent doctor. The clinical setting is authentic, and it’s all in focus and audible, which demonstrates production commitment and directorial competence. It’s good comic setup, and taken in isolation, there are some amusing moments.

What’s the point of the punning title? And the punch-line? It involves a dinosaur. Tiger/dinosaur – geddit? Are we watching a satire on superannuated male doctors? It was made pre-covid – now we afford our medics more respect. Or is this another demonstration of decent work by decent filmmakers who haven’t fully thought through how best to say whatever it is they may or may not want to say?

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