Monday, October 13, 2008
By Ryan McDougal, Canada, 2006, 2 minutes 35 seconds
Source: You Tube
Sonata is an animated short film about a man who is battling with himself to take a chance or not.
The music used in the short film above is actually from the soundtrack of Amelie. The Director notes that a different piece was composed for the final version of the film due to usage rights.
There is no dialogue in Sonata and yet I did not miss it. McDougal was able to convey the emotions of the man through facial expressions, body language, the music used, and I dare say his footsteps, without adding some kind of inner monologue. If the man was mumbling to himself about how he should "just go in and ask her out," I would have liked the film a great deal less. The simplicity of the film and the characters actions is in my opinion the point of Sonata.
My personal favorite scene in Sonata is right after a random person walks by on the street coughing, and the man imagines himself walking down the street with the woman from the café. It looks as if they are ghosts walking away, and then they disappear. I love that part because it shows the pure intentions of this man and his lowly request. I felt a real sympathy with this character because he isn’t asking for the world. He isn’t some tragic hero with vaulting ambition. All he wants in this moment is to have a relationship with this woman, and I find that refreshing.
The ending of Sonata is very fitting. I love how the last shot is of the man opening the door to the café and then the screen turns white. The fact that the screen turns white rather than the usual black can have connotations of its own. Because most films end on a black screen, the white screen adds contrast and a “happier” ending. What I mean is that it signifies that the man successfully asks the woman out, and they live happily ever after (or something like it).
There are only two things I do not like about this film, both having to do with the animation. One being that at one point the man looks as if he has breasts. This took my mind away from the tension in his face and had me solely focused on his “man-boobs.” The other comment I have on the animation is that there seems to be no windows. It looked as if there was no glass between the windowpanes. Overall, those two critiques are very small on the grand scheme of a short film, but they caught my attention nonetheless.