Through the unfiltered perspective of her mobile phone, a young woman weighs what she wants with that is realistic.
The first thing that grabbed me with this short, as I’m sure it will with anyone watching it, was that it’s shot in portrait to mimic a phone screen. It really added to the atmosphere that we were the mobile phone, watching a woman go about her daily life. It’s funny because the internet jokes that the FBI is watching us through our phone screens and cameras, and obviously we laugh it off, but when seeing something like this, it makes that prospect seem quite real. Our phones are with us at all times, and if they were asked a question or could tell our story, what would they say? We put our lives into the thing that lives in our pocket, even though it may not see the filtered happiness on the other side. FBI aside, let’s get into the film.
We start with the character of Emma, wonderfully played by Alyssa Block, trying to have a bit of fun before her partner wakes up. It sets the quite modern scene that women also want to pleasure themselves, it isn’t just a male want. That’s something I really liked about Alyssa’s character, how she seemed quite masculine with her choices, and I really respected the story showing that true side of her rather than presenting us with another damsel in distress. The short film shows us a day in her life, both the good and bad: from work choices, sending nudes and affairs. I liked the realness of it, from the dark colour choices to the code words, making us think that the film is taken from our own phone’s recordings of us.
Directed by Scott Lazer, who also thought up the original story, we are given the opportunity to dive into our own lives and how we use our phones through his modern tale. Lazer has said that inspiration comes from “all the times I’ve unwittingly opened the camera function on my mobile phone and seen what my phone sees of me: a contorted, fatter, less attractive version of myself” which I’m sure most people can relate to. We lie in our beds, hair crazy and eyes wide, when we see a strange face looking back at us, not the same as our edited and posed profile pictures. I’m so glad that this idea has been bought to life through film, a sort of modern-day horror in reality. I love how it’s all about how much we use our phones, but also about everything that happens away from our phones too.
Mango is a clever and fresh short, really making the viewer think about their social media and phone habits, as well as about what’s good and bad in their life like the character of Emma.