Blue Girl follows Katie (Bella Murphy), a young girl with a secret. In a virtual meeting with her friends, peers, and her counselor, Valerie (Jamie Uhtof), Katie plans to spill her guts and come out as gay to everyone involved. The short film sees Katie finally able to express herself to those around her. However, while it comes as a relief to tell the world about her suppressed feelings, the experience is not quite what she had hoped.
Reports of bullying and homophobic harassment are reported around the country on a daily basis. This issue is one that needs to be dealt with, and film is a great way to reach the masses and make them fight for change. Blue Girl, if nothing else, is an advocate for those who have fallen victim to bullying of any kind. However, with all of the time and effort that writer-director, Kabir McNeely, must have put into the movie, it falls short of his expectations.
Those familiar with the field of education or who have even a basic understanding of virtual conference calls understand that the majority of what occurs throughout Blue Girl is complete nonsense. As the young girls file into the meeting one by one, it is quickly understood that the host, Valerie, the one who has to let the girls in, is not yet present, leaving them unattended. Given the fact that most classroom-esque settings for children require the host to provide them access, having them alone seems unlikely.
“…Katie plans to spill her guts and come out as gay to everyone involved.”
As the film progresses and there is a clear opposition to Katie’s announcement from some of her peers, they are each allowed to remain in the meeting and berate her. This is all but impossible to overlook to appreciate the story better because the fact of the matter is that the world is living virtually right now. Everyone’s well aware of how virtual meetings work. Had the movie been released at a different time, one where people aren’t completely in the know in regard to these types of technology, the message may have been better received.
In addition to the viewers’ inability to accept the ridiculousness of the situation present, the young talents are unable to truly express the necessary emotion. As the 4-minute movie progresses and the girls are asked to convey emotions of pain, sorrow, and condescension, viewers fall further and further from the message.
Ultimately it feels like, even with all the work that McNeely put into Blue Girl, not enough research was done to ensure that viewers can believably accept what is happening. Some understanding is necessary as McNeely, who is only 15-years-old, had limited resources; but, regardless, it is difficult to appreciate much of what transpires.
Blue Girl is perfect for the twenty-first century as it incorporates very modern technology into its story. Plus, the message behind the movie is powerful and important. But it is lost in translation as the young actors are unconvincing, and the writer/director is unable to provide viewers with realistic situations. The short’s inability to be honest in this regard causes the film to be unsuccessful.
"…the message behind the movie is powerful...but it is lost in translation…"