Short Film Review “Toast”

Toast1 Toast2 Toast3


First, the Recap:

Thinking things though. Reasoning. Debating. Pondering. Concluding. Deciding.  As human beings, we sure do a lot of this when it comes to our attempts to rationalize and ascertain the dilemma that is existence. Not only do we try to figure out who we are and where we come from–primordial ooze-born amoeba, the creation of an infinite God, etc, etc–but then once that has been chosen, the madness continues as we look at ourselves on an even deeper level, wondering “why are things the way they are for ME?”. Answers forthcoming or not, the obsessiveness to discover them can border on, well, obsessiveness! Take for example one poor schmoe, Mark (Neil James), theorizing in his kitchen.

Taking a moment to begin preparing his breakfast food, thoughts ebb and flow via his multiple inner voices, striving to recall recent ramblings he heard about the meaning of it all.  To make matters more odd, or worse depending on point of view, one of the voices carries a rather acutely arrogant and smart-alec-y tone, contradicting and “correcting” Mark’s queries with an endless point of making his efforts to fathom whether someone up there cares for him or not a blatantly moot point. Not willing to give in to hopelessness, and in desperate need for a portent, a revelation pops up.

Next, my Mind:

British writer/director Daniel Harding yet again delivers a uniquely amusing, deeply satirical comedy effort that has the auspicious duty of utilizing the space of two Vines put together to communicate the themes and intention of it all–and honestly manages to do it!  As a viewer, when you can look beyond just the literal visual elements of the narrative and apply it to a broader message being conveyed, it actually makes the hilarity of it stick out even more. Taking a no holds barred dive into how we, as people, truly do wage internal conversations with ourselves when trying to appraise our place in the world, the responses we hear could very much be as crazy, random, and chaotic as presented.  If only we had a microphone to audibly take in what notions float around when stewing over “deep” subjects like this, much less as they lead to the finale shown.

Actor Neil James is, quite simply, perfect for this role as Mark, showcasing a normal, slightly odd bloke who would most likely be found standing in his kitchen, fixing a bite, pondering the concept of being and being cared for by something higher than himself, and then subsequently arriving at a life-altering epiphany–again–and rushing off to share it with the world. James plays this up with a simple, understated, yet completely riotous demeanor which only adds to the screwy nature of the entire premise. So, in total, “Toast” is not only the shortest short film this reviewer has personally seen, but it always stands as a very solid exemplification as to the almost pathological compulsion we have to find “The Truth” and the lengths we let ourselves go to find it—or think we already have. In this case, lots of butter and jam, please!

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!


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