Chalk by BFI Cornwall Film Academy 2015

A delightfully simple love story twisted by teenage hate proves love can still last forever.

Chalk by BFI Cornwall Film Academy 2015

Plot: A lesbian teen, Phil (Megan Tremethick) cycles to her school gymnastics class. Faced with bullies such as Leila (Alysha Vine) and embarrassment, her only friend Macey (Anna Mills) convinces her to perform, only to land her in hospital. There she finds out who really cares about her, and that she can truly be happy despite the negativity of daily life.

Great use of slow motion for the title card, makes the subject of the film clear straight away, plus returning to the shot later makes it part of the film rather than an isolated, unimportant shot. The contrast of the crisp white chalk with the grey background gives a professional quality to the whole film, as the detail indicates high quality equipment, giving the audience a greater respect for the piece from the start.

The use of a bird's eye view for both present and older Phil is an effective transition as it makes it clear that it is the same character rather than a new one. Indeed, emotionally this film packs in a lot, even with the sparse dialogue. Tremethick and Mills convey emotions well beyond their age, mirroring the older actors perfectly to immerse the viewer.

Although sometimes too loud at times, the sound goes naturally with the scenes, with a suitable mixture of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds to create tension or translate the emotions of Phil, such as the use of white noise when she goes into hospital, the pain she is feeling supported by the audio nicely.

The acting of the extras seems forced and brings the watcher out of the situation. A string of clichés, it brings down the quality of the whole film, particularly the scene in the gymnasium. Twirling of hair by Leila and Macey turning her head before saying "Let's go" are cheap, overplayed traits that make the whole scene seem more amateurish.


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Amy  Jackson

Amy Jackson

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  • Luke Taylor

    On 27 November 2017, 13:48 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    Brilliant review Amy! It's great to see filmmakers are still presenting everyday issues faced by teenagers.

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