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01/05/2020

My Thoughts on Anthony Hett's Short 'Letters'

(beep)

The following review is spoiler free!!

The film Letters is a heart breaking yet beautiful portrayal of loneliness and how friendship, even simple human contact, is so important. It’s normal for us to suspect older people living on their own feel lonely at times, but it can be hard to think that of those who we see nearly every day. The people who seem so busy and filled with life can often be the ones most lonely and separate from others in society.

This first film in a trilogy of shorts following similar themes, looks at the friendship between a lonely old man, and his postman, who is equally lonely.

Still from Letters
Seeing this film for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic, I look at it a bit differently to how I may have seen it before. On the surface we have two people who rely on each other to get through the weeks, even if to others it seems a bit silly. But personally, the deeper meaning right now is how important people are in society, to everyone. 

Every day, we rely on the post person to deliver our letters, hide our packages when we’re not in, and keep our world moving. In the films case, the postman Malcolm (excellently played by Edward Davis) keeps Kevin’s world moving, and in return, the elderly man gives Malcolm a bit of joy and company for a short while. In our current situation, we still rely on our posties doing their jobs, but we have begun to appreciate them at an incredible level. We’ve also begun to see how people on their own can feel so lonely, and just how a small chat can fill them with a sense of purpose. We only work if we receive love from others, and we do the same for them. As a directional debut from Anthony Hett, this film really is beautiful. I was filled with so many emotions and left with a want to help and spread a little bit of happiness.

A simple looking film with an excellent story has been executed so incredibly well here. For me, bangs and whizzes are of course a treat, but seeing a story that anyone can relate to and understand on a personal level is so much more important. Again, Hett has managed to write such a poignant tale filled with a sadness yet beauty too. Pairing this with Jack O’Dowd’s style and a sweet soundtrack composed by Rob Dunstone, this story comes to life with a realness and understanding which is so important for films with topics like this one.

I really recommend giving Letters a watch. It really holds a power and importance, and something I feel will stick with all those who see it.

You can see the film here: https://vimeo.com/110795993

I have also reviewed the other 2 short films in the trilogy on Close-Up Culture. You can read them here...

Waiting: https://closeupculture.com/2020/05/01/waiting-short-film-review/

Scrable: https://closeupculture.com/2020/05/01/scrable-short-film-review/

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