Emotional Motor Unit (2016)

A short film lasting only 22 minutes and the audience is dragged in, intrigued to what will happen, intrigued not knowing what is happening.

The film revolves around a writer (Graham Cawte), who spends his life alone, in isolation, scared of the fresh air and touching objects outside his home. He is a lonely writer, who the audience never know his name, perhaps reflecting his notion of isolation once again. We delve into his life, one we might not be familiar to at all. He is assigned and controlled by “The Company” to write fiction in relation to an Emotional Motor Unit (or E.M.U), which is a programmed person, a machine, a robot of a type (played by Francesca Burgoyne). The author has to spend two weeks with E.M.U, in which his life changes, realising human interaction since his long time alone.


We aren’t actually told a lot about the characters, however I think this makes a statement to the film. Unlike to others, in which a flashback of aspects of their lives are shown, or perhaps a long introduction, the characters are kept more secret in ‘Emotional Motor Unit’. We are told about the writer and some of his life, but the fact that his name is hidden away from us gives an essence of privacy. There are two characters which in particular I find quite mysterious, the programmer (Candice Palladino) and the agent (Finnian Nainby-Luxmore). Significantly the programmer, she is one who seems to have a lot of depth in her character and the mysteriousness around her character, her silence, just her being there, but her control, being able to control the E.M.U, brings so much depth to the character and a want for the audience to know more. Once again bringing them in.

I found the film very heart-hitting. The audience definitely experience this man’s life, excellently played I have to admit. After the two weeks is up and E.M.U is taken away, we witness this man’s life after she has gone. His life in isolation having had a glimpse of human connection. The audience, well I most definitely did, felt everything he was feeling, all of his pain, yet he continues on to write this fiction story, doing as he is told by the agent.


‘Emotional Motor Unit’ does have a dystopian feel to it, also a sci-fi film, something very different to our world we know. Although perhaps a possible future with technology. Even though, many cannot recognise themselves with the world, it is very much a film to recognise with the emotions of the film, the loneliness.


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