Things That Fall

A college student haunted by the auditory hallucinations of schizophrenia finds a connection with a deaf classmate in a library and makes a lot of noise to get her attention.

Genre: Drama

Length: 08:27

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Rafaella Biscayn, Tommy McNamara

Director/s : Sy Huq, 

Writer/s : Sy Huw, 

Actor/s : Sterling Beaumon, Stephanie Nogueras

 

Alone Voices

Alex is a student who suffers from “auditory hallucinations” – he hears voices. It’s a symptom of schizophrenia, which, we infer, he keeps quiet about because of the stigma.

Peace comes when, like Baby in Baby Driver, he uses headphones to play music and quieten the voices. The beats leaking out don’t go down well in the examination room or, later, the library. The headphones isolate him, and with his clumsy shyness, make him a loner whether he wants to be or not.

It’s well acted and shot. The voices in Alex’s head are especially well handled, becoming a character in their own right. They are a mix of his thoughts, memories and fears, and ambient sounds, amplified and distorted. Passing ideas seem to become instructions. How can he concentrate on the term paper in front of him? His tension increases. He’s going to fail the exam, and probably life too.

A touch of human contact comes in the library when he tries to help deaf student Carly. She hears too little, he hears too much… We wish the best for them, but can only imagine what might work out because the film ends right in the middle of the meet-cute.

The only niggle is the intrusive score, coming on like Fast and Furious at one point, and ladling on triumph-over-adversity grandeur at the end. It’s unearned, and out of keeping with the understated tone of the piece as a whole.

Short films with a message all too often fail to deliver as dramas. Protagonists are defined by this or that “issue”, endings aim to prove a point rather than resolve a conflict, and subtlety is sacrificed to worthiness. Things That Fall skirts these pitfalls, gives us sympathetic characters, and leaves us wanting more.

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