Michael Olesen’s “The Red Balloon” is a short film that doesn’t need words, because the gestures of children, and the gestures of those still in mourning don’t need words to describe how they feel about that particular loved one they still think about.
“The Red Balloon” speaks for itself. It’s a lovely and utterly heart breaking silent poem of a man showing his feelings for his mom, it’s a form of therapy and catharsis, and he does this through telling the story of a little boy.
In a little under five minutes, Olesen tells the story of a young boy who is experiencing a problem. One day in a park, he comes to a realization, and meets up with a gentleman selling red balloons. Figuring this is his answer, he buys the balloon, and proves that old proverb that sometimes the journey of the gift is just as touching as the gift itself.
Simplistic photography helps to induce the feeling of desperation and emotion, all the while Olesen zero’s in on this young boy without ever dragging on the run time. The young boy is intent on using this balloon to his advantage, and by the time the climax arrives, you’ll find that sometimes the impossible is always possible to a child who still loves their mother, regardless of the obstacle.
I was utterly touched by this short film, and it will be ridiculously impossible for the audience to keep from welling up once they view the pay off to this beautiful love letter. Its proof positive that for some directors, film is a form mourning, and I applaud director Olesen for his effort.