By Will Barber – Taylor
Days before his girlfriend Karen is due to give birth; the hapless teenage Tristan receives an email announcing the end of the world by an alien invasion. Unsure whether to rejoice or dread the perspective, Tristan makes it his duty to investigate and record samples of life on Earth as he knew it. And sort his life out…all before tea time.
A black comedy starring Theo Barklem-Biggs as Tristan, with Adrian Scarborough (Dad), Ria Zmitrowicz (Karen), Tamzin Griffin (Mum) and Natasha Sparkes (Sam). Directed by John Howlett, Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2014.
Some Candid Observations is a dark, melancholic and funny look at fatherhood and the priorities of life that are sometimes displaced by events that are out of our control. While Some Candid Observations doesn’t answer how you should respond to the events presented in the film, it does bring up interesting questions which leave the viewer wondering about their own lives.
Throughout the film, we see the world through the eyes of Tristan and how he reacts to the events that are changing his world. Each scene shows Tristan trying to comprehend what is happening around him and through his eyes we get a sense of his world and to a greater extent the world in which we live. His slightly melancholic outlook on the world reflects his surroundings as he works through a brooding London skyline. Director, John Howlett makes everything gloomy even during slightly sunnier scenes. The atmosphere and Tristan’s words of doom and gloom act as a clever foreshadowing of things to come.
The use of comic timing is also well played throughout the film; particularly stand out scenes include Tristan’s conversation with his Dad and his visit to a local shop. They manage to level out the audience’s mood so they aren’t too depressed by the message that is being projected across to the audience. They also help to explore Tristan’s character a bit more and show how naïve he is and how he doesn’t really understand the world in some ways.
The acting is also very good with Theo Barklem Biggs’ central performance as Tristan being particularly noteworthy. As he is the centre of the film, he has a big job; to act as the portal for the audience to view his world but also to be entertaining enough to keep the audience’s attention. Barklem Biggs does this wonderfully and with a great sense of perception. He makes us feel that Tristan is a real character, someone we can empathise with and someone we can relate to. The scene in which he questions his relationship with his girlfriend is particularly powerful as are the last few scenes featuring him.
In conclusion, Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World is a fantastic short film with an inspired cast; great direction and wonderfully profound script with an inspiring message about life. I would highly recommend that you see this film; it is well worth a watch.
With thanks to We Are Colony. You can purchase Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World here.