Bench: A Short Film (2016)

‘Bench’ is a short film created and starred by Christopher Laws and Jack Mckenna. This short film only lasts four and a half minutes. But it’s surprising how much you can get within that short amount of time and ‘Bench’ definitely does it well.

The camera is quite personal and makes the audience feel more connected to the two characters, Chris and Jack. It tells you the aspects you need to focus on, whether it be the fact that he’s alone on that bench, or focusing on the face and the emotions he’s expressing. The lighting is quite bright; I feel this contradicts what is being said, but this is a good thing. I feel it’s representing something, either hope in sadness, or maybe where Jack is going; but then again that could be me reading into it too much, I’m unsure.

Because the film is so short, things have to get running pretty quickly. And right from the beginning the audience is told a number of things. Number 1) the film isn’t going to be some happy story, one to get you laughing, rather the opposite. The music echoes sadness, we know this from previous films we’ve watched where music is associated with certain emotions. 2) It’s going to be emotional and powerful. A man crying on a bench, alone. 3) A life is going to unravel in a short conversation.

This film is very clever in throwing emotions at the audience, it captivates them to find out what happened to Jack and makes them intrigued. Even though nothing much is said, we are told so much. Somehow emotion hits the audience, even if they are not sure what has happened, or will ever know.

I would recommend watching this, it’s beautifully emotional and full of power. Who knew a single bench would become a story expressing the emotions of one guy, feeling all alone.


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