Of Hearts And Castles – Short Film Review

When two lonely men meet on a night out, they push each other to reveal and learn more about themselves.

Played out in a non-linear order, we meet two men at different stages of their life, not knowing what they want but feeling like everyone else around them knows what it is. Even though I was confused to begin with about the relationship between these two people, I quickly realised that we were being shown the story in a way that meant the order wasn’t important. From dark cars to warm neon interiors, this short didn’t let itself stay in one place for a long time. Whether this was to reflect the changing thoughts of the characters or how fast life passes us by, it was a beautiful reminder that not everything and every moment will work out, and life will change and get better for us.

Focusing on hearts, obviously we have the idea of love and breakups, but also the fact that the character of Angel was born with his heart on the right side of his body. It seems like a small detail, but it takes up quite a section of the short, really homing in on the idea of love and how we all experience it differently. We all go through sadness and heartbreak, whether it’s because of a partner or a TV show ending or a death, and all of those feel very private and like something only we will go through and understand. But this sweet moment in the film reminded the characters and us as viewers that we all go through things, but they will get better. Angel is played by Luis Carazo, and he really is angelic in his performance. With patience and Grace, he helps to show us that we all experience love and loss, and we’re super because of it. I really did like his role.

Looking at castles, the character of Marcus begins the film talking as a narration about the castles we draw and build as children. When bad things happen to us, we build walls and add locks as time goes by. It can be hard to break them down, especially as individuals when we’re used to having them there. Of Hearts And Castles incredibly illustrates the hurt we can go through, with Jonathon P. Chambers who plays Marcus solidifying this. His character is broken, but to see him change as he starts to get put back together makes us as an audience feel at peace. It’s romantic and reminds us that as fragile beings, we do deserve to have our walls pulled down.

This slow and heartfelt film felt delicate in its execution and we have writer and director Ruben Navarro along with DOP Bongani Mlambo to thank for that. This creative combo has pulled together to show the ups and downs of life, but how we can feel fixed by random moments and meetings. An idea that sticks with me is that ‘everybody comes into our life for a reason’. Whether good or bad, we learn and grow from the love and hate we receive. We are a combination of the people we meet, and this is communicated to us perfectly with this short.

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