The day-to-day routine drudgery of life on the farm is interrupted when Dad (Doug Austin) brings home a young woman, Nell (Kate Dearing), whose car has broken down. Oldest son Sam (Devin Doyle) is tasked with fixing the vehicle, in addition to his other chores, though he quickly takes a liking to the attractive stranger. Nell, for her part, brings some energy and life to a family that has since turned cold to one another, in particular due to Dad’s mood swings and the absence of a mother. Nell also brings an outside perspective, and Sam is forced to look at his life in a new way.
And as such, Tymon Brown‘s short film Bloomer is a coming-of-age story for Sam. Accepting of his life only because he knows few other options, Sam isn’t necessarily ready to address how truly strained home life has become. At the same time, maybe he’s far beyond being ready.
The challenge revolves around Sam’s younger brother Eli (Kieran Anderson), who would be left alone with Dad should Sam finally make a move to strike out for himself. Like any good brother, Sam is protective of Eli, especially considering Dad has been known to get a little abusive when his mood sours. Still, the call for his own identity is strong, exemplified by the free spirit Nell, and Sam may finally be at his breaking point.
Lensed with a strong eye for composition, the film excels in its visuals, perfectly capturing the warmth of a farm at night, and the seeming ever-present chill of the environment in the early morning. Unfortunately, where the film succeeds in its imagery it stumbles in its pacing. For a short film, if you’re going to go over twenty minutes, you better have something truly exceptional to share. In this case, while it is a fine story told relatively well, it is not groundbreaking or overly memorable. Allowing elements to simmer isn’t done well enough to justify that extra time; this one shows its cards early on, we know where it is heading, and it doesn’t surprise along the way.
Which ultimately doesn’t make Bloomer a bad film, it just doesn’t make it a spectacular film. The filmmakers know their craft, and again the cinematography is particularly sound. A lack of mercy in the edit might’ve helped this one along; coming in closer to ten minutes would’ve allowed the tale to come across without feeling like you’re delaying the inevitable.
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