The titular girl is a single twenty something aspiring writer living in London. We are introduced to her going about her day to day life visiting a market, a book shop and cooking dinner for visiting friends. Out of the ordinary a strange thing happens, the girl touches a hot pan and sees orange. It is not explained to us but our curiosity is aroused due to this mysterious occurrence. Later on we find out it is the result of the girl having synesthesia, a condition where her sense of touch is linked to a perception of colour. Over dinner the girl’s rather annoying friend and her boyfriend do the inevitable setting up the single on a blind date and our girl reluctantly accepts. The awkward date with a delightfully superficial guy is full of understated humour and is beautifully observed and leaves our girl dreaming about a chance encounter with Mr Right. Moving on the girl starts a creative writing class at her local library and consequently life begins to have more of a positive green glow rather than an orange warning sign.
Amy De Bhrún is outstanding as the girl with a subtle performance that exudes emotion and allows us to instantly like and feel an affinity with the character. The synesthesia of the main character is beautifully dealt with and used to great effect to portray the different male characters she encounters by their reaction to it, the first commenting that it is ‘freaky’ and the second viewing it as a ‘special power’. The characters are nicely developed and the script is well written allowing for a level of believability and authenticity that is both refreshing and engrossing. The special effects are used in a restrained manner and the use of lighting is highly accomplished with several night time scenes beautifully shot. The depth of field and choice of shots are interestingly used giving a rich feel to the film.
Writer and director Phil Bowman chooses not to spell everything out to the viewer, we do not hear the exchange between the girl and the screenwriter towards the end of the film, which gives the film intellectual depth and allows the viewer to fill in the gaps. The slowly meandering narrative is full of delicate attention to detail addressing how one individual’s life is affected by the people she encounters and the consequences of taking positive actions in life. It is an inspiring little tale that will leave you feeling positive and encouraged. The soft electro music by Hong Kong in the 60s compliments the subtlety of the film and is effectively unobtrusive.
Girl in Motion is a charming short film that has a surprising amount of depth and is a beautiful observational piece. Bowman’s background in Psychology explains the fascinating addition of synesthesia to the story and adds a captivating dimension to the film. This is a relatable everyman story that has been given a beautifully subtle injection of life and shows a very promising talent in Bowman. I look forward to future films from this interesting filmmaker.
To find out about upcoming screenings of the film visit the website http://www.girlinmotionfilm.com/
Writer and Director: Phil Bowman
Cast: Amy De Bhrún, Peter Halpin, Richie Jenkins, Nina Hatchwell, Jeffrey Mundell
Runtime: approx. 17 mins