Bilskådaren (The Car Spotter) – Short Film Review

Peo loves spotting cars. It gives his everyday life a little twist. It’s also a hobby that is about to ruin the most important thing he has. Bilskådaren is a film about the small choices in life that have big consequences.

I sat down to watch this short film on a Sunday afternoon, which is what the whole film feels like. We save weekends for our loved ones, but in this case, the main character has made his hobby his most loved thing, so is spending his time focusing on cars and counting them. Sunday afternoons are peaceful and reflective, often with time spent preparing for the week ahead. Bilskådaren feels exactly like a Sunday, where there could be threat from ruining the future if you don’t take the time on this day to stop and sort out your life.

Starring Mats Qviström as Peo, we sit back and enjoy his warm performance. We’re welcomed into this world of cars without the need to know anything about the hobby which makes this film so easy to consume. So many movies focus on intricate details that often ostracise viewers due to our lack of knowledge, but Bilskådaren stays friendly and welcoming to all who watch it, making us share the same goal. Set in a village without many main roads, Peo spends his days waiting for a classic car to drive by. I really enjoyed joining his adventure, as well as being allowed into his wife’s life. The storylines were complex, the audience feeling everything that the character’s did, but also grounded us to think about our own relationships with the people we love and the hobbies we have.

Written and directed by Martin Sandin, the short film resembles a mockumentary, allowing the characters to share their thoughts aloud. It’s a great way to get a story across in short form, as it makes the simple story feel real. We truly begin to connect to and understand the personalities on screen, wanting them all to feel love and understanding. Sandin’s script is written in a gentle way, which gives life to the characters and our feelings on the situation. Even in the sad moments, we’re greeted with small joys that feel honest.

The colour grade adds to the feeling of the world, that every moment in life can be romanticised and feel like a movie. Peo and his wife are perfect characters that are executed in such a way that I truly want to see more of them. In just a few minutes, we feel a connection to their current lack of one. We’re taken on this journey with them, hoping for the best but not knowing which way things will turn out. It shows that all people need in life is someone to listen to them, and act based on that. Sure, independence is wonderful but feeling heard, especially in a lifelong relationship, is what keeps them going. This short story following mundane life didn’t feel mundane at all.

If you’re wanting a sweet and fun story with something to bite into, Bilskådaren is the short film to see.

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