'BETWEEN THE SCREENS'
- Directed by Mia Ginaé -
‘Behind the Screens’ explores the nature of an exclusively online relationship, in an age where real human contact becomes a more and more prized possession. A boy and a girl meet online, and they share numerous pleasurable chats, but when one of them feels that it’s time to strengthen this bond and add another means of interaction to it, things get tense.
The film is interestingly put together, despite the fact that it by no means touches an original subject. The circular manner in which it begins and ends showcases the chaotic, uncertain and repetitive characteristics of purely digital communication. The text-based interaction exists as a well-established constant in both their minds, and a deviation from this might spell hazard, or the breaking of a routine. Maybe it would be an irrevocable next step, one that might be the end of what is otherwise a good chemistry. At least this is what is hinted at, because sometimes, the two talk to each other, but refer to diametrically opposite things- a bit like in the style of Kurt Vonnegut.
The main idea of ‘Behind the Screens’ brings to mind one of the themes in Jaco van Dormael’s ‘Mr Nobody’: the concept that in a continued state of a choice not being made, everything is possible. This perhaps is the reason behind the girl’s reluctance to give a more concrete response to the boy’s face-to-face meeting invitation: she clings on too tight to all the possibilities that could potentially be, and she doesn’t want that status quo spoiled by walking in one direction. This is reflected in the picture she paints, a faceless portrait: it could be anybody.
The actors do to little on-screen in order to really make an impact: the film makes particularly good use of close-up shots in order to convey their emotions, and the set of feelings which they’re going through: anger, frustration, powerlessness, confusion. The score is good and while it does reflect some of these, it doesn’t seem to always reflect the happenings. This is also used a bit too extensively, across the whole duration of the film- moments of contemplative silence could have worked better in some areas.
Overall, ‘Behind the Screens’ is a decent achievement. While it does manage to convey fractures of what isolation feels like in an increasingly interconnected world, which actually acts as an obstacle for real human contact, it’s not sufficiently refined and original to really stand out.