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Wednesday, September 28 2022
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Stutterer: Accept yourself the way you are

stutterer
Photo Credit : Facebook

People’s perspectives on life can be changed by films. It allows us to see things that we would not be able to experience personally and see life through someone else’s eyes. And that is where short films play a challenging part. They help us understand the characters and their lives that we had only just met for a few minutes and with only a few scenes.

Stutterer (2015), the first film directed and written by Irishman Benjamin Cleary won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2016. Matthew Needham plays the lonely man named Greenwood, whose stammer keeps him apart from the outside world. He is a typographer with a stammer which makes his daily life difficult. He is afraid to speak in front of others and isolates himself from everyone. In the opening scene, we see Greenwood, who is stuttering through a phone call and getting disconnected. Unable to relay his message, he gets disappointed each time they hung up on him.

stutterer

Next, we see Greenwood, who lives with his father. He listens to him speak patiently and without passing judgement. His father is loving and supportive, patiently calls companies on his behalf to ensure Greenwood has what he needs.

However, when the opportunity to meet his online lover, he is forced to face the reality of his situation. Ellie (Chloe Pirrie), with whom he has been in an online relationship for six months claims to have a surprise for him, but it ends up being her travelling to London, where Greenwood lives. He does not text her back when she asks him to meet her, fearing that she will reject him if she learns that he stutters. That is because, on the Internet, he can be himself and lead a normal life without stuttering.

stutterer

He thinks about lying to her at first but apologises for not responding to her texts and decides to meet her. After some time, she replies that she would want to meet him, and Greenwood spends the rest of the day nervously getting dressed and travelling to meet her while practising the things he intends to say to her. When he spots her across a street, she is seen signing to a man saying that she is deaf. Greenwood nods and smiles when she signals for him to cross the street. And there the film ends.

Greenwood, his father, and Ellie make up the only cast’s three characters, yet the film leaves you with a huge impact. The tension is caused by Greenwood’s lack of confidence which prevents him from communicating with others.

stutterer

When it comes to cinematography, the close-up shots and framing, it helps us understand the protagonist’s experiences and the struggles he must endure owing to stuttering.

In under 12 minutes, the movie explores Greenwood’s character, what he says in person and what he thinks and what he may say online. He leads a conflicting life amidst these things. But in the end, finding comfort, self-confidence, courage to accept oneself as you are and happiness is what the film underlines. It indeed is a beautifully crafted short film worth watching.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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