How we communicate in our day-to-day relationships is key. Fact. Even more so in our intimate relationships and it can get quite complicated, especially when you throw sex into the mix. Of the many films out there that focus on sex and relationships, Bryan Larkin’s short film ‘Parkarma’ really stood out for me. If, like me, realism is your bag then take a further look into the ways three extremely different couples communicate in Larkin’s third effort at writing and directing a short.
Larkin’s previous work includes the BAFTA Scotland winning short movie ‘SCENE’, which takes an insightful realist view into the media world and an actor’s insecurities. ‘SCENE’ also narrowly missed out on an academy award nomination in 2008. It’s clear that Larkin knows his stuff.
In ‘Parkarma’ Larkin focuses on a realistic view of sex and communication (no knights and white horses here), which is just why I fell for this film. Love and relationships are often portrayed as outrageously unrealistic and unattainable in some of the expensive Hollywood blockbuster productions. I would without doubt enjoy being carried off into the sunset to live happily ever after, however this is the real world and that doesn’t happen. If you do want relatable, raw, and intriguing characters, and not Hollywood fluff, you will most certainly find it in ‘Parkarma’.
Larkin consistently reflects realism from his writing to the choice of setting. Set within a park Larkin portrays three entirely different couples all at different points of time in their relationships’. The first being a long term relationship, the second a couple having a casual relationship, the third a couple who are meeting for the first time from seeing each other on a Internet dating website. Each one of these relationships appears not to be going so well each due to different circumstances, however essentially all the relationships are failing due to miscommunication.
The Neanderthal man who can’t get off his phone, the inappropriate dizzy blonde who talks too much (my particular favourite was her rant about shooting and killing pigeons – not the typical subject matter to broach on a first date). The last couple involves a man desperately attempting to save his relationship by reconnecting with his long term girlfriend via a self–help book, but unfortunately seems to miss the point entirely. Rather than portraying superficial character relationships, Larkin builds intricate bonds between the characters. A creation of characters that I felt an instant connection to and are instantly recognisable in the roles they play. In doing so Larkin produces a great achievement of character depth, especially given the short length of the film.
My one criticism? Well, let’s just say not all the actors have convincing accents. Regardless of this Larkin achieves an effective portrayal of the characters relationships as realistic reflections of the bonds and relationships we maintain in real life. Whilst achieving this affect Larkin simultaneously produces a charming film that is consistent in its themes and ideas from beginning to end.
You can watch Parkarma by Bryan Larkin here at: http://vimeo.com/30859549