Seaside is a very emotional and moving story. It follows Manon's introspective journey, a young girl waiting by the seashore in Swansea for her biological mother to show up for a very important reunion. As she waits for her, she starts to question the life she's led so far with her adoptive parents and, through very profound reflections, wonders how her life would've been if her biological mother had never abandoned her.
Written by Martha Reed and directed by Gwenan Bain and Alice Eklund, this piece is presented as a monologue. Although there are no visuals in this film, which I find very original and unique, Manon's words and descriptions do the job perfectly. Through Nadia Wyn Abouayen's voice inflexions and dynamics, we discover Manon's very vulnerable and sensitive side. The plot flows through the film, and the point is that it develops as Manon's speech does. After all, she tells her story from a very honest, very real perspective, which is critical to what we could call her character development.
I don't think the end counts as a plot twist, but it's a major event for the plot. The storyline never becomes disjointed or results tortuous. As a whole, everything in Seaside works. The monologue format, the script, the brilliant sound design by Nicola T Chang successfully creates a special atmosphere tinged with a little nostalgia.
Suppose I had to highlight four specific elements that made Seaside special. In that case, I'd say those are: the monologue format (I think this was the perfect way to dive into Manon's thoughts with her), the descriptions (the words are enough by themselves, making visual support unnecessary), Nadia Wyn Abouayen's wonderful performance as Manon and a very touching script.
Watch Seaside here: (starts at 23:22)