Playwright Simon Stephens’ short film, based on the play of the same name, has gained an incredible amount of interest as of late. This can be explained by its leading man, Andrew Scott, who is most famous for his role as James Moriarty in Sherlock. The short film, which is slightly over 30 minutes long, was specifically written for Andrew Scott and was completed in three takes.
The film is the story of Alex, a photographer speaking to the audience about his life, or rather certain events. When we first meet Alex he is an energetic force on screen and it is amusing watching him switch from topic to topic much like we as an audience do naturally when speaking. Alex easily draws the viewers into his world and it is hard not to be able to picture his family whom he speaks so animatedly about. What is also interesting about the film is Alex’s musings on God and life that makes his story more engaging. This is an incredible feat from both Scott and Stephens, they manage to absorb the audience so much that Alex becomes as much a part of us as our body or thoughts.
As he walked about the room I found it hard to believe that Alex was not real, and that Scott was simply acting the part. That is one of the many strengths of Scott’s performance, he’s capable of holding the audience in his hands with only the power of his voice. What is noticeable is the way Andrew Scott uses his hands to illustrate and elaborate the story he is telling, it is a very effective way of drawing the audience in. Furthermore, it gives the act a more theatrical sense to it rather than a typical film. The film has a knack of going from a comedic moment to a desperate and heartbreaking topic. The speed with which Alex moves from one emotion to another is what makes his story more devastating. It is difficult not to cry as Alex breaks down in front of the camera, making himself completely exposed to the audience.
Although people may initially be put off by the short film due to it being one continuous speech, I would advise anyone who appreciates the arts watch it. It is one of those films that once seen will live with you forever. That’s how powerful it is. The film can be bought at http://www.seawallandrewscott.com for £3.50 or $10.00. If this review has any aim at all, it is to make sure anyone who reads it buys ‘sea wall’.
Reviewed by Roxy Simons.