I probably don’t have to tell you that life is hard; I think it’s a fact that most of us adults are acutely aware on a consistent basis. However, sometimes people think that they are worse off than the rest of their peer group, that something is wrong with them because they’re not keeping up the pace with the best and the brightest. In just under 20 minutes, director Leena Pendharkar and writer/star Vivian’ Kerr’s Scrap shows us the extremes of what it’s like to feel that way.
For an unknown reason, Beth (Vivian Kerr) is living out of her car. She is constantly looking for jobs on her computer, driving around to different places as to not arouse suspicion, and generally just freaking out…because she lives out of her car. She gets a call for a job interview, and we see her go to a nearby gym to shower and get ready. When she arrives at the interview, the room is filled with applicants, a lot of them are women who definitely appear to have it more together than Beth does, even though Beth did the best with what she has, which is not a lot.
“For an unknown reason, Beth is living out of her car.”
Around this time, we discover that Beth has a daughter, Birdy (Skylar Hill) who is staying with her brother Ben (Anthony Rapp) and his wife Stacy (Elizabeth Ho). She has told Ben she is on a business trip in Atlanta, which is clearly untrue, due to the fact that Atlanta doesn’t have palm trees and oh yeah, Beth is living out of her car. Stacy is chiding Ben about how long Birdy has been staying there and believes Beth is on drugs.
A lot of bad things continue to happen to Beth throughout the short film, but one of the most poignant moments in Scrap flashes by in a split second. It could easily be the defining moment of the entire film. Without giving it away, we never know how bad other people have it. Especially because some people, such as Beth, are very good at hiding their problems. Another point that Scrap makes is that valuing your pride too much can be your downfall. Accepting help is important, especially when you’re drowning (figuratively or literally).
“…cinematography is practically flawless and the script is perfect.”
Daud Sani’s cinematography is practically flawless and the script is perfect. Also, I love Anthony Rapp. Anything he ever does, I will support 100% and even though he doesn’t have as much screen time as Kerr, his performance has impact. Kerr is brilliant as Beth, and the chemistry between her and Rapp is great. You will really believe that they are siblings. Their relationship reminds me of the one I have with my brother who’s closest in age to me (I have four brothers, but that’s another story).
Overall, I think Scrap is important for people, especially women, to see. Particularly if you feel like you have bad luck, that the cards are stacked against you, that everyone else has it easier than you. Most of that stuff is a facade, particularly in today’s world with the advent of social media. Everyone is a “f**k-up” as Beth refers to herself (and which I have referred to myself countless times). No one is perfect, and the quicker that people realize that, the easier and less painful life will be.
Scrap (2019) Directed by Leena Pendharkar. Written by Vivian Kerr. Starring Vivian Kerr, Anthony Rapp, Skylar Hill, John Billingsley, Elizabeth Ho.
9 out of 10 stars