Film Film Reviews

Pelicans – Short Film Review

A story following 5 grieving teenagers, all trying to comprehend and navigate their personal loss. It finds the friends in a slightly comedic limbo between denial and acceptance.

Written by Toto Bruin, we are given a slow and emotional look at grief. Incredibly put together and performed, the acting adds a quickness to line deliveries, breaking us way from the calm and sad and into a wittier place. Directed by Ellie Heydon, this exploration of brokenness but in a way that pulls people together is bright and fascinating, wanting us to know more and even be a part of the situation.

Dressed in black, the teenagers we meet are surrounded by colour in everything from buildings, funfair lights and kites. As more friends join, more and more colours become part of their looks, really allowing us to get into the heads of different people and explore how we each deal with loss and life. When we drift into night after a sad day, the characters produce their own light, coming together. Young people are often branded as “snowflakes” for showing emotion, and to see this short show nothing but that is lovely. It made me stop and think about my own life and reactions to what happens. This idea that nothing lasts forever, presented to us with beauty, like a coming-of-age film. We leave the characters happier than when we first met them, but still upset, and I think this is great for young people to be watching. It lets us know that things aren’t always ok, and it’s fine to not feel 100% all the time. 

I can see this being a feature film, the start of a great adventure to honour someone who is no longer with us. The depth of this short can be felt by anyone watching it, and I want to see more of that on my screen.


Pelicans was part of the Women X Film festival – find out more

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