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The Hesitant Man

The Hesitant Man

Directed by Pierre Sabrou | Review by Antonio Rozich

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter the last month’s review of Goes Without Saying, I’ve got the pleasure of reviewing another Pierre Sabrou’s piece. In the last review I didn’t want to be hasty with my remarks, but after this one, I’d like to call out something. Sabrou and his short films can be described as Charlie Chaplin for the 21st century. It looks like this young director has the knack for creating playful films that subtly come with serious life ideas – a modern tramp with a lot of curious thoughts hiding under the hat. So, let’s start with the review.

Everyday life is dull and you often get caught in that boring loop where you feel like a guinea pig running the wheel. But just because there’s a thick layer of dullness, doesn’t mean there’s no magic below, you just need to dig deep enough or merely be creative. Pierre Sabrou’s The Hesitant Man manages to catch this magic in a “film bottle” that’s less than 5 minutes. A magnificent and straightforward story nicely presented with almost no words (28 English words throughout the whole movie to be exact).
The film starts with a man that has trouble making everyday decisions; what tie to wear, what meal to eat, which pen to use etc. All of this is subtly mixed with matching music and more than welcomed tasteful humor that isn’t shoved down your throat – something many filmmakers try really hard to do and it isn’t restricted to humor only. As his trouble continues to haunt him, the unnamed man finds a solution – a coin.

Often we find the solution to our problems in the most uncomplicated places – places we often forget to look at for one reason or the other. Most likely because there’s this enormous, existential paradox that the easiest things are hardest to get or are toughest to make something out of. As the man finds all the solutions in a single coin, he instantly starts believing his life is turning out for the better – a common trap if you think about it.

But the road he takes is the right one and it’s not about what you do, but how you do it. It only takes time for the solution to become a new problem and it’s incredible how all of these existential ideas are packed in a light-hearted, 5-minute film. Not a single scene wastes your time or repeats what has already been said.
Although I’m tempted to say how adjusting to life is the key to life, that would be an understatement. Again, as you move towards the film’s ending, this idea is nicely presented in the final scenes. Although until this point, the man’s solution works perfectly, soon his happiness begins to haunt him. Will he listen to the coin’s decision or not? He feels the unspoken obligation he has to, but at the same time, there’s the feeling of neglecting the reason he started doing it in the first place. This creates a perfect climax where the viewer is left to decide. Do we need to adjust our lives, or at the same time adjust to adjustments we make as well? A real mind twister.

But although the questions asked in this review might hurt your brain, Bordeou’s The Hesitant Man won’t provide the unnecessary pain. Instead, it will give you a couple of minutes of pure film entertainment with some questions that are left to you to ask. Same as I did when I typed the first letter of this review. And what are questions than a sure way to new solutions?


Antonio Rozich is a seasoned copywriter and the chief editor for Cult Critic – meaning, if you’re a filmmaker you’ll either love or hate him. Besides his usual copywriting, he also helps filmmakers with their screenplays by editing them and finding the ways to improve the initial filmmaker’s idea. When all of that is done, he turns to his true & original love: writing flash fiction filled with philosophy, life and cake metaphors.

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