It’s 4:07 pm
So I was spinning around some words in head for a new review of the IFC film “October Gale” when on my FB feed came a post from Nadia Chloe Rose who I had interviewed not that long ago. She shared that the new short film she had worked on,”The Perfect Gift” had been released and provided a link to YouTube.
I called the cheetah in the den and we watched this together.
The film opens up with Ferguson (Andy Blithe) sitting on a bench looking at but seeing nothing. He is lost in thought and memories. He has a small bag with him…
He enters his home and apologizes,not to a wife but to his brain damaged younger brother,Cyril (Ryan Enever). It’s Cyril’s birthday and they are having guests.
Cyril’s best mate Duncan (Mark Ashcroft) and his wife Julie (Rose) come over and they stumble through a rough lunch. Julie encourages Ferguson and says he is doing Cyril right…
After Duncan and Julie leave,Ferguson goes to give Cyril a gift but Cyril wants the perfect gift….
This is a wickedly powerful and moving short film. The burden of caregivers,especially those struggling like Ferguson is often overlooked and ignored by the public outside the family. What makes this so striking is the complete mystery of what happened to Cyril to land him in his present state. The only thing we know is Duncan and Ferguson had nothing to do with it and that is actually a huge relief to know.
The range of emotions conveyed among the four actors come across clear…Ferguson is heart broken,Cyril is scared,Duncan is bewildered and Julie is compassionate. These emotions are all really Ferguson’s and the speed they are going through him is spiraling him. He is being asked for the unthinkable yet the the most beautiful gift he can give his brother and he knows he has no choice.
What makes this really sad is unlike “Me Before You”,Ferguson and Cyril are not well off and Cyril cannot clearly ask for he really wants. He knows that with only Ferguson as his family and he being the (much) older brother,he doesn’t know how much time he has before he lose that one support and is swept into the healthcare system.
It’s a HELL of a lot of story in 11 minute 21 second film and Blithe and Enever are to be commended highly for telling it clearly that time frame. Enever wrote “The Perfect Gift” and it seems he wrote it from a past experience,it has a real personal feel to it.
Blithe is the standout actor here,his older Ferguson as serious weight and his craggy face is a beautiful template to show what he is feeling inside,he hides nothing from us.
While Ashcroft and Rose’s parts are small….they show the reactions from people looking from the outside,at a loss to communicate what they are feeling by hiding it in weak humor in Duncan’s case or by willing to stand besides a caregiver no matter what or for how long.
The score by Will Killen is somber and moving throughout,its not sappy sweet. The music treats the story with respect and walks hand in hand with it. Killen does a fine job here.
While the subject matter does make me emotional and I won’t hide that,I also loved this movie. And I think Ferguson loves his brother so very much…..
We give “The Perfect Gift” a big thumbs/paws up.
Learn more about 3 Take Productions.
Share your thoughts by dropping a comment below.