Written and Directed by Bonnie Wright
Starring David Thewlis
Reviewed for MuggleNet.com
In this ten minute short film, written and directed by Bonnie Wright, a young girl named Thea discovers the power of her imagination with the help of a stranger she meets along the beach in her coastal town.
In the opening of the film, 10-year-old Thea comforts her depressed
mother, and when she is sure her mother is on her way out of this
episode of depression, takes a walk outside. She briefly explores an old
boat that has been left aground, before happening upon a man looking at
rocks near an abandoned set of train tracks.
The stranger invites her to have some tea at his house, which is
close by. As she waits for the tea, Thea notices how messy the house is,
and hiding under the mess on the coffee table is a picture of the man,
his wife, and his son. While he doesn’t reveal all, the stranger
indicates that he lost them both, and then asks Thea if she has brothers
or sisters. When she says it is only herself and her mother, the man
stands and invites her to see something. He gives her a coat to keep
her warm, and the pair exit the home and head back towards the beach.
The man asks her if she could go anywhere, be anywhere, where would
she be? In a very matter-of-fact answer, Thea explains that she is only
here, in Dungeness, and can’t be anywhere else. The man laughs, and
tries again, stirring her imagination until she says she would love to
go to Paris. As seagulls fly overhead, he instructs her to tell the
birds to go to Paris since they are flying the right direction. They
both run after the flying birds, shouting instructions. It is only then
that we finally see the 10-year-old Thea, and not the
wise-beyond-her-years Thea, who has been caring for her depressed
mother. Finally, the two introduce themselves, both Thea and the
stranger named Norman smiling at one another before parting ways.
The short film immediately grabs at the heart strings as we see Thea
dealing with more than any child should have to deal with, and then
gives the viewer a moment of joy when the little girl emerges, yelling
at the birds to go to Paris. Wonderfully, over the final scene of the
film, Thea reads for the viewer a letter she has written to Norman,
leaving us hopeful that the girl will continue to embrace and retain
that child-like wonder and imagination that Norman introduced her to on
the beach of Dungeness.