Waiting – Short Film Review

It can be so tough to see family members change and deteriorate as they get older. It can be even harder to think about the fact that one day, it will happen to us. Waiting, the second short film in a trilogy by Anthony Hett, follows a day in the life of Frederica (played by Cleo Sylvestre) as she spends her time waiting.

The first thing I want to say about this film, is that from the first shot, it felt like a documentary. We were getting up close and personal with someone’s life, whether they liked it or not. I liked that. It made the story look and feel so realistic, and through that, important. Frederica’s day may seem boring and samey to most, but to her it’s a routine, it’s meaning in her life and it’s something different to the simple four walls of her room.

I think that the style of this film was similar to the first film in the trilogy, Letters, but at the same time, it felt so different. Like I said previously, it felt more personal, and in a way private. Of course, writer and director Anthony Hett’s story is to thank for this beautiful glimpse into someone’s life, but I don’t think we can go without mentioning the Cinematographer for the film, Robbie Bryant, and the Focus Puller, Joe Medlock but wow, those moments of focusing were stunning. I adored the moments when we saw Frederica putting on her earrings and we could see the sparkle. You can see metaphors throughout the film, but I think something about the focusing and the jewellery was just beautiful.

Talking about Frederica, Cleo Sylvestre played her with such a gentleness that I just wanted to reach through the screen and tell her that it would all be ok. Casting is such an important part of the film process that many seem to not realise, but the time was worth it in this case, because Cleo really is a gem. I’m unsure on her experience with the topics that the film portrays, but you can see she has so much patience and respect playing someone who may not be given that by society.

So far, this trilogy of short films is leaving me questioning my role in society and how I treat others in it. It may not be my responsibility to check up on everyone I know, but I feel it’s so important to smile at everyone I walk past, and even share a friendly hello. You never know what people are going through, how they’re feeling, what they’re heading towards, but you can at least be a small bit of joy by being kind. It can be hard to get through to everyone, people like Frederica perhaps, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be there for them.

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