Directed by Tom Harvey | Reviewed by Samiksha Periwal
‘Broken Strings’ is a short film about a man named Issac who has sedatephobia, that is the fear of silence. It is also an apocalyptic film where the world is falling apart and this guy has to be prepared to deal with a world that has gone quiet. He has to come face to face with his biggest fear and stay all alone with his guitar being the only hope and companion for him. This story of isolation and the feeling of loneliness that it constantly suggests through its protagonist is something that many of us would relate to considering the current social worldview. The film is a perfect description of the anxieties and discomforts faced by a man left all by himself to fight his biggest fear that is silence. The concept of this film is fresh and it intrigues you to figure out the functionality of people having sedatephobia. Therefore, to know more about it you should sit back and enjoy this short film and reflect upon the consequences and effects of an apocalypse on the society as a whole.The idea of isolation and the need for feeling a constant presence beside you is what Issac is going through in this film. His biggest fear of staying alone escalates as a result of an unfortunate global situation where the world is forced to stay indoors and protect themselves. His mechanisms of dealing with the issue have also been shown. Music heals a person and it is the only support system for the protagonist in the form of his beloved guitar. The title is also suggestive of the fact that the guitar’s strings which emit sound for him are the actual saviors in case of an emergency situation. The role of media in such situations has been explicated showcased in the narrative as the News channels keep every isolated individual updated about the apocalyptic situation. The television is also one of the major coping strategies for him to deal with the fear of complete silence. It acts as a background score for him and helps him get through.This film can be related to the present global issue of dealing with COVID-19 virus and putting an end to a pandemic that has been going on for quite some time. The feeling of loneliness, anxiety and fear of dying were all a part of our thought process during the peak periods. Moreover, people with such phobias as rare as it may be, had to go through a lot mentally to keep themselves sane and not succumb to this humongous adversity. Therefore, the film is very relatable for each one of us as we must have gone through some amount of anxiety or have developed some sort of fear in the process of dealing with such a major event.
The director, cinematographer and protagonist of this short film Tom Harvey has done a wonderful job in all these spheres. Katie Maughan has also contributed in creating this beautiful piece. The simplicity of the entire plot and originality of content make it stand out. The storyline although seems typical is unique in terms of the concept of sedatephobia being highlighted. The background score also goes pretty well with the film’s mood. The film’s ending is something the viewers would definitely enjoy as it is open to interpretations and each individual can have their own different version of the story.
All In all, ‘Broken Strings’ is a personal journey of Issac dealing with his phobia and adapting to the new changes happening all around the world. It gives you a sense of understanding and makes you feel sympathetic towards people who have to deal with alienation and isolation. The idea of this film is very out there and it definitely succeeds in creating an impact for a patient thirteen-minute watch by our audiences.
Samiksha Periwal is an 20 year old student from Kolkata, West Bengal. She is an enthusiast, eager to learn and explore. She has done her schooling from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkata and is currently a student of Christ University, Bangalore pursuing a triple major in BA Psychology, Sociology and English. She is a passionate writer and has won many laurels for her school through the years.