Run is the tale of budding romance and camaraderie among five young adults who have a chance meeting in the park.
Today’s film is the 2016 award winning British short Romance film Run, written and directed by Thea Gajic. Starring Thea Gajic, Lauren Marshall, Jess Espin-Thurgur, Daniel Deacon and Ruben Reily.
Run is the tale of budding romance and camaraderie among five young adults who have a chance meeting in the park. Three young women are sitting at the football pitch discussing poetry, love and recessive genes when two young men show up to kick around the football. These two young men are discussing why they won’t commit to a girl one of them really likes despite wanting to take it to the next level. After they finally challenge one another to a quick match the girls decide they would like in on the game and ask to play, the boys chuckle and allow it. In the ensuing chaos and fun of the friendly match two of the young people become attracted to one another but the fires are quickly extinguished as the weather takes a turn for the worst. Although he had just mocked his friend earlier for not being decisive enough in his own love life the young man fails to get the girl’s number and though they share looks back at one another as they go their separate ways, neither make the next step to continue the budding romance.
It is rare to find a straight up romance film these days in this world of romantic comedies and poorly written romance novels so when I ready the description of Run I was skeptical at best. I was expecting a cliché filled film that never really connects with the realities of matters of the heart that real people deal with in daily life but I was pleasantly proved wrong. Run’s excellent writing shows how real people deal with new feelings and attraction in a modern society where public displays of affection are discouraged and often mocked by your peers. The film offers a glimpse into the different mind sets of both male and female reactions in a subtle way that never singles out either sex as being dominate and never condescends the shyness or aggressiveness of the two aspiring young lovers. This is pulled off in a very believable way by the wonderful acting of the small cast of the film.
All of the nameless characters in the film deliver such real performances for their characters it is almost like watching real life in action. All of the characters posses a certain genuine charm and ascetic that the view really believes that they are best friends in real life. This is all the more impressive when the budding romance starts. In many films romance scenes are either forced upon the characters to the point of where it feels unnatural or the actors have absolutely no on screen chemistry that it just ruins the illusion, this is not the case with the two unnamed young people in Run. Both of the characters have an organic feel to their reactions to on another that I have actually seen happen in my own life and really lends credibility to their performances. This is essential when filming a romance film because if the principle actors can’t pull it off your film will fail and it won’t matter how much production quality you have. Which leads us to the biggest hiccup of the film.
The production quality of this British short film is perhaps not the greatest I have seen. While the cinematography is alright in of it’s self the picture quality leaves something to be desired. Firstly the camera work feels a little amateurish with its strange close ups and the much hated (by me at least) shaky cam effects that follow around the characters as they walk and play football. This effect doesn’t add realism nor does it make you feel like part of the story as I am sure most directors of photography intend it to do, instead it jars you out of the experience and really takes away from the other wise fine story being told. The picture quality also isn’t the best with several blurry scenes and screen artifacts that really bring the movie down. One thing I have noticed is that this is a common problem with British independent films and I wonder if they attend it to be this way or if there is something in the UK that simply lends itself to slightly lower production values.
The audio work of Run is also less than perfect. Several times when the actors are not facing the camera directly you can barely hear what they are saying. This is truly unfortunate as the performances of these young actors is very impressive and this mistake really hits the film hard in places. I know that many films make this same mistake and really it is a simple fix to work on it in the post production of the film and just over dub the failed scenes. I understand when you are on a tight budget you want to get your film out there as soon as possible as the production costs can skyrocket but this type of error really lowers the overall quality of your film. All that said however the musical score what little there is of it fits the fun, hopeful and caring nature of the film in a lovely way and never overshadows the actor’s performances.
When all is said and done Run is a surprising little romance film that feels genuine and meaningful but suffers slightly from below average production value.
If you enjoy feel good films that make you think and question how you interact with your fellow man then at just over seven minutes Run is certainly worth a once over when you get past the small technical errors of the film.