HOLLYSHORTS 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! What do you do when you’re stuck in traffic, lanes are merging, and someone lets you move over in front of them? According to Paul (Paul Bates) and Christy (Christy Bruce), offering A Simple F*cking Gesture–a head nod, a wave of the hand, or a honk of the horn–is enough. However, when a stranger (Chuck Shamata) neglects this simple thank you after the couple lets him in, the two are incapable of getting past this oversight. As they contemplate what to do next, the transgression threatens to ruin their night.
A Simple F*cking Gesture takes a completely transparent approach toward expressing some of the issues that take place in the modern world. Writer-director Jesse Shamata uses this style to ensure that nearly every viewer is able to understand and appreciate the message that guides the film. Paul and Christy astutely communicate the difficulties people deal with socially, but they do it in a comedic fashion. While the limpidity is essential to viewers understanding the film’s meaning, both Bates and Bruce’s ability to add a dimension of humor to the uniquely infuriating situation twists into something deeper and more meaningful.
“…[Paul and Christy} are incapable of getting past this oversight.”
The premise of A Simple F*cking Gesture is so simplistic that it bodes well for success. It resonates with viewers and allows them to appreciate all that is being said between Paul and Christy. The arguments and lively expressions feel less like an act and more like the real thing. I can picture my grandfather sitting in the driver’s seat, enraged because someone, who has no bearing on his day-to-day, has merged without expressing their gratitude. The fact that two complete strangers, over the course of only about seven minutes, can make me picture something so vividly is a testament to how brilliant both the actors are throughout A Simple F*cking Gesture.
A film so forcefully about man’s downfall finds what feels like the perfect balance of lecture and comedy. In just these seven short minutes, A Simple F*cking Gesture almost flawlessly conveys a message of both disdain and hope for humankind. The short film provides incredible insight into the issues that we face as a race day in and day out but delivers in such a hilarious way that viewers can absorb the information without feeling overwhelmed. A Simple F*cking Gesture is anthropologically informative, troubling, amusing, and, most importantly, superb.
A Simple F*cking Gesture screened at the 2020 Hollyshorts Film Festival.
"…anthropologically informative, troubling, and most importantly, superb."