They say the woman is always right. In our relationship with earth, we really should listen and respect mother nature a whole lot more. The Poet and the Plant looks at love and loneliness, how a man’s relationship with nature can break, but can also be fixed.
This film personally attacked me. Hi, my name is Anna and I kill, by accident, nearly every single plant I own. Either I give them too much water, or not enough sun, but I truly do try my best to help them flourish. I often think my fault is giving my plants too much love. Suffocating them with too much, they have what they need, but not how they want it. Well, I seem to have kept 2 alive so far (I won’t tell you out of how many), and I was gifted one for my birthday the other day which I am yet to harm. As well as reminding me of the awful murderer I am, this film deeply touched my heart and inspired me in ways a story hasn’t really done before.
Written by, co-directed and starring Robert Summerlin, it’s fantastic to see such a strong performance in a role that seems so modern, yet also old and classic. I loved how fun he was, filled with emotion yet still playful. The Poet is all of us in this beautiful film, someone who knows his normal, but doesn’t want that anymore. This introduces us to the plant.
Narrated by Sarah Snook, who has such a professional yet warmth to her voice, the story follows a man who writes poetry, draws dinosaurs, and feels incredibly lonely. After visiting a flower market, he returns with 3 plants, one of them narrating the tale. I like how simple this story is. It feels like something anyone can relate too: wanting to not feel lonely. We often are happy alone but feeling loneliness heavy on us can begin to destroy our souls. So why not get a plant and possibly destroy theirs instead? I loved seeing the story through the eyes of the plant rather than the poet. It’s something I’ve never really seen before, and as well as adding some comedy, it adds a deeper meaning about our earth and how we treat it. I’ve been on a few global warming marches and I try to recycle and use biodegradable products where I can, I try and listen to our earth, to put it first, but it isn’t always easy. We can think what we’re doing is right, but with research and often just common knowledge, we can see it isn’t. Reading through the director’s comments, the pair didn’t set out to create an environmental film, but it’s nice to see their passions and concerns seep through into their film for others to see and possibly want to inflict change into their life.
Joining the team is Tom Basis, who co-directed the film with Summerlin. The French-Israeli-American pair really do show us how it’s done. Somehow merging American and foreign cinema, we really are treated to a positive film filled with sweet sadness, but also such joy. I think something that greatly adds to this is the cinematography, and we can thank Jih-E Peng for her interesting yet classic style in this. I love the use of light and dark, movement and truth through closeups of both the Poet and the Plant. It felt like we were dancing around the Poet’s apartment, learning French with them both and trying our best to just survive.
This story has so much heart and needs to be seen. It carries a few messages sewn throughout it that I feel each and every one of us can relate to. Whether you feel like the Poet, or even the Plant, I hope this film left you feeling inspired and smiling like it did for me, as it truly is a delight. I’d better go and give my plants some love, but don’t worry, I won’t give them too much this time.